For Lincoln, getting to the speech—as a statement of ideas and as an event—was both an intellectual and physical journey. The president began to compose his words in Washington with one set of ideas, incorporated in the draft of the speech that he took with him when he left the White House. Yet by the time he stood on the platform at Gettysburg a day later, he had experienced for the first time the battlefield and the little town in the grip of patriotic celebration of loyalty and commemoration. And he had deeply felt the solemn funeral rites for more than 3,000 heroes. … [Read more...] about How Abraham Lincoln Wrote the Gettysburg Address
After the killing of congregants at Mother Emanuel church in Charleston, South Carolina, Obama sang the hymn “Amazing Grace” and also challenged the nation. “At some point," he said, "we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.” … [Read more...] about The power of words in crisis: Who hits mark, and who misses?
Lincoln — considered by historians to be one of our greatest presidents — did his best to set an example on a personal level. He put political rivals in his Cabinet, as many presidents have done. Sometimes it was rocky going, but Lincoln’s patience and good sense made it work. … [Read more...] about John Cribb: How can Biden unite America? Renew Abraham Lincoln’s call to ‘bind up the nation’s wounds’
But it's the endurance of hope that animates and which may inspire his inaugural address. To quote from one of his favorite poets, Seamus Heaney: "History says don't hope on this side of the grave / But then, once in a lifetime / The longed-for tidal wave / Of justice can rise up / And hope and history rhyme." … [Read more...] about The secret to a great inaugural address
Sitting in his tank, in those rare minutes of peace, Hap wrote verses about the war and, in fact, became the poet laureate of the 3rd Armored Division. On the 15th anniversary of the liberation of Europe, cities in Northern Europe invited Hap and his Army comrades back to see plaques placed in each town. And my father, paraphrasing Lincoln, wrote: … [Read more...] about War hero dad inspired different kinds of courage