The last photo of Abraham Lincoln
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
This Wednesday, April 15th, besides being the day by which you were to have filed your Federal Income Tax returns, is also the 150th anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln.
Yes I know. Most of you consider this date to be ancient history.
But it isn’t.
You millenials who are too young to remember 9/11 can’t comprehend that Lincoln lived only two life times ago.
I was already 14 years old when the last documented civil war veteran, Albert Woolson passed away in 1956. Albert Woolson was a drummer boy from Minnesota who enlisted in 1864 after his father was killed fighting for Union.
Albert Woolson could have talked to me about Abraham Lincoln just as I can speak to a teen about John Kennedy.
So no – it was not that long ago. There were plenty of civil war vets, as well as those who hadn’t served, still around when I was born. They knew Lincoln.
Time as they say is relative – what may seem very long ago for you may not be so long ago for me.
Time also gets compressed – time is so long and our lives are so short.
Rome in the west was founded about 750 BC and lasted in the east until 1453 AD. That’s about 2,200 years give or take. Can you even imagine a 2,000 year old nation, still in power?
Did it make much difference if you lived your life in the 3rd century or the 5th? I’m sure it did but I can’t imagine how or how much. And that’s a 300 years span – longer than our country is old.
Does anyone think the United States will be around in 3976? What will it look like?
Maybe that’s the wrong question. Will humanity still be around?
We will be coming up on our 250th anniversary in 2026 – I was here for the Bi-Centennial. I cannot imagine another 2,000 years of the United States, especially as a democratic republic. It’s as if we are in the early days of Republican Rome – the days of empire still to come. Is this the path we as a people want? Or is this the path only of the enemies of peace?
So this Wednesday let us give a thought to Abraham Lincoln and commit ourselves to work to make living in the 21st century better than living in the 20th. Let us commit ourselves to building the world we want, lest someone else build it for us.