||M E M O R I A L S
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Dedicated: Memorial Day 1922.
Visitation: 4,046,346 (FY 2004)
Annual Budget: $2,086,000
Highlights: Massive marble statue of Abraham Lincoln, Greek architecture, large interior inscriptions, embraces the dual themes of Social Justice and National Unity.
Lowlights: Troubled history of embracing the Social Justice aspect of its design.
Location: National Mall, Washington, D.C, due west of the Reflecting Pool.
Hours: Open daily, 8am to midnight, closed December 25.
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There's little doubt that Abraham Lincoln was a great President, perhaps the best of the lot. Given all that he did for his country, it's hardly surprising that his accomplishments are commemorated by such an impressive and inspiring memorial.
The Lincoln Memorial is many things to many people. One facet represents Lincoln's ideal of Social Justice, where he believed that all people possess the God given right to be free, to have an equal chance at life's opportunities. Another facet is the ideal of National Unity. Lincoln believed in his country, and was willing to fight tooth and nail to keep it from falling apart.
The monument itself is modeled after Greek architecture, for the Greeks were the first society to embrace a democratic style of government. The interior chamber is somewhat sparse, containing a 120 ton marble statue of President Lincoln sitting on a chair. Flanked on either side are two towering inscriptions, both of famous speeches given by Lincoln, namely, The Gettysburg Address, and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address.
Lincoln was born in a small cabin in Kentucky, once described as "a hunters hut not fit to be called a home". From those humble beginnings, Lincoln learned early from his parents to be both compassionate and concerning for others. He also learned that anyone willing to work hard could make a better life for themselves. With that idea in mind, and without any formal education, Lincoln managed to lift himself up by his very own bootstraps to the highest office in the land, the President of the United States.
His tenure as President was a tumultuous one that, in the end, resulted in the ultimate sacrifice of his life in pursuit of the lofty ideals of both freedom and national unity. Had Lincoln not run for President, choosing instead to live a more genteel and privileged life, the tensions over slavery would have most certainly driven a stake into the heart of America, possibly resulting in the evolution of two constantly warring nations. Thank God for Abraham Lincoln!!!
Hey! The Lincoln Memorial is now within eyeshot. Come with me to learn more about the memorial as well as Abraham Lincoln and his ideals at a time in history when America was on the fast track to oblivion.
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