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Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln. Obama speech at Ford's Theater

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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
______________________________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release February 11, 2009


Remarks of President Barack Obama
Ford's Theatre
February 11, 2009
As Prepared for Delivery
Washington, DC

Michelle and I are so pleased to be here to renew and rededicate this hallowed space. We know that Ford's Theatre will remain a place where Lincoln's legacy thrives, where his love of the humanities and belief in the power of education have a home, and where his generosity of spirit are reflected in all the work that takes place.

It has been a fitting tribute to Abraham Lincoln that we've seen and heard from some of our most celebrated icons of stage and screen. Because Lincoln himself was a great admirer of the arts. It is said he could even quote portions of Hamlet and Macbeth by heart. And so, I somehow think this event captured an essential part of the man whose life we celebrate tonight.

As commemorations take place across this country on the bicentennial of our 16th President's birth, there will be reflections on all he was and all he did for this nation that he saved. But while there are any number of moments that reveal the exceptional nature of this singular figure, there is one in particular I'd like to share with you.

Not far from here stands our nation's capitol, a landmark familiar to us all but one that looked very different in Lincoln's time. For it remained unfinished until the end of the war. The laborers who built the dome came to work wondering whether each day would be their last; whether the metal they were using for its frame would be requisitioned for the war and melted down into bullets. But each day went by without any orders to halt construction - so they kept on working and kept on building.

When President Lincoln was finally told of all the metal being used there, his response was short and clear: that is as it should be. The American people needed to be reminded, he believed, that even in a time of war, the work would go on; that even when the nation itself was in doubt, its future was being secured; and that on that distant day, when the guns fell silent, a national capitol would stand, with a statue of freedom at its peak, as a symbol of unity in a land still mending its divisions.

It is this sense of unity that is so much a part of Lincoln's legacy. For despite all that divided us - north and south, black and white - he had an unyielding belief that we were, at heart, one nation, and one people. And because of Abraham Lincoln, and all who've carried on his work in the generations since, that is what we remain today. Thank you, and good night.

2 Comments

OMG-This man continues to amaze me everyday as he associates with the American people. When we listen to him we understand, we cry we think why other presidents in recent time did not connect with the American people the way he does. All I can say is despite the hard economic times God is allowing all of us to see what it really means to be a leader and what it means to be touched by God. We all understand where you are coming from and God does hear your prayers and in the end the REpublicans will come together to make this land a better place they live here too. They want what is best for their children and grandchildren just as we Democrats do. I thank God for you, Machelle and the girls as you live your life at this time for America thank you and God bless you with every breath you take. Thank you also for the history lessons you give freely daily to us the American people.

We love you Barack and keep making dreams come true for the American people

That is the symposym of the 21st century.The altar of unification, the pain as pained by him as like it has been by christ during crusification. i love thise guy. May God bless u. And bless all ur good desire wich u had for america.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 12, 2009 9:51 AM.

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