Saturday February 12th, 2011
16th President of the United States
Celebrating 202 years since his birth
February 12th, 1809 – April 15th 1865
Today marks the birthday of our greatest president, the first Republican, Abraham Lincoln. Americans celebrate the occasion of Lincoln's birthday with song, speech, pageant, and ceremony. Many County Republican Central Committees across Oregon honor this occasion by hosting their annual Lincoln Day Dinner this weekend, and in the coming weeks (click here for details).
In celebrating Lincoln and his legacy of freedom, democracy and equality of opportunity, we celebrate the true meaning of America. Few leaders in history have captured the hearts and minds of so many people in so many nations as Abraham Lincoln. The extension of Lincoln's view of the "American idea" was that the principles enunciated in America's Declaration of Independence are universal, and that freedom is not just for some people, but for all people, and not just for one time, but for all time, as Jack Kemp wrote during the celebration of Lincoln's Bicentennial in 2009.
"These ideals were the driving force behind Lincoln's life and his political career. The Declaration of Independence was so central to his politics, and so close to his heart, that in the bleak winter of 1861, on his journey from Springfield to the inauguration in Washington, he felt he had to stop at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Lincoln knew that the American experiment in democracy and freedom was in grave peril, as was his own life," wrote Kemp. And in the very building where the declaration was signed, Lincoln spoke of that "something in that Declaration giving liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but hope to the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance."
202 years after his birth, and 146 years since his untimely death, we give thanks for President Abraham Lincoln's service, his legacy of freedom and unity for our county, and inspiration to the world.
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