Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy 200th birthday, President Lincoln!

Here in the Land of Lincoln, the clock just struck midnight. The big day we've looked forward to and planned for is here. It's time to wish Abraham Lincoln a happy 200th birthday.

As I type this, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is hosting an all night vigil for Lincoln. In conjunction with the vigil, original copies of the Gettysburg Address, Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment are on display.

Until after 11 p.m., the line to view the documents wound through the lobby, down the hall, into an exhibit holding area and around the museum plaza. It reminded me of a visitation I once attended for a well-loved young school teacher who died much too young. As in that case, the people coming today were there to pay their respects to someone whose life made a difference.

The celebration gets even bigger and better tomorrow, as people in Springfield, Washington, D. C. and many places in between hold celebrations. At 9:30 Central Time, school children throughout the nation will join together to read the Gettysburg Address in an effort to break the Guiness world record.

Please join in a celebration of Lincoln's big day. If you can't, at least take a few minutes to stop and reflect on how the life of one individual can change the course of history. Lincoln mattered then and he still matters today. Remember the life he lived and emulate the values he espoused - hard work, honesty and lifelong learning.

Happy birthday, Mr. President!

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