Seven score and nine years ago

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I had a few moments in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago this evening–on the 149th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address–and so I made a modern-day pilgrimage to the Standing Lincoln statue nearby.

Lincoln’s speech is nothing less than amazing, in terms of its forceful and determined statement of what the battle meant, and the larger context of why the war was being waged. I stood at the base of the statue, looked up, and marveled at what Lincoln was able to accomplish with his words. More learned men than him have come and gone, but it’s Lincoln that we still revere. And that’s something worth celebrating on November 19 and every other day as well.

The ball in the foreground of the picture above has the text of the Gettysburg Address raised on its surface, and I read the words, as I have many times before. But reading them, in the presence of a statue dedicated in his honor, somehow felt right to me. I shut my eyes, gave thanks for the way that things turned out, and went back to my car.

With my pilgrimage accomplished, I’m already beginning to wonder what will be planned for the sesquicentennial of the address next year. I’m hoping that it will be something worthy of Lincoln and his legacy. Our ongoing fascination with Lincoln gives me reason to believe that it will.

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