Remarks Lincoln Tomb 4/14/18
President Agosto, President Cleveland, President Greenwalt, Commander-in-Chief Rojo, Special Guest, Brothers and Sisters of the Allied Orders, and Friends.
Regardless of the Weather and our personal comfort it is our sacred obligation to be here honoring the Life and remembering the Death of Abraham Lincoln the 16th and, to my mind, most significant President of the United States.
Recently the Brothers of the Garfield Camp, SUVCW, in Baltimore, gifted me with a small book titled Lincoln’s Daily Devotional. The book contains the original text of “The Believer’s Daily Treasure or Texts of Scriptures arranged for everyday use.” In life President Lincoln was known to possess a copy of this work, which his pastor and presented to him. This morning, I want to read the passage which is designated for April 14th.
“Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” John v.39” Lord, thy teaching grace impart, that we may not read in vain; Write thy precepts on our heart, Make thy truths and doctrine plain; Let the message of thy love guide us to thy rest above.”
I suppose at this point you are wondering were, I am going with this. Well, I would like you to envision Abraham Lincoln sitting in his study on the morning of April 14th, 1865 reading, contemplating, and reflecting upon the devotional. Would his mind like mine begin to associate the events which had transpired those four long years of heartache and bloodshed, which only five days earlier seemed to have come to an end in Appomattox, VA, and wonder if his efforts in word and deed; would be a testimony to future generations. Would he ask himself if he been able to impart the value of granting grace to those who had fought against us? Had he been able to share his precepts of justice and etch them upon the hearts of his countrymen? Did he make clear the truth of his intent?
For me the answer is a resounding YES! Abraham Lincoln’s legacy resounds clearly in our national memory and his words were not uttered in vain but enhanced and expanded the very foundations of our beliefs about the character of America. Listen to his message of grace and hope for all Americans “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” Listen to his instructions on precepts “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. Lastly listen to these Lincoln Quotes “It is not my nature, when I see a people borne down by the weight of their shackles - the oppression of tyranny - to make their life more bitter by heaping upon them greater burdens; but rather would I do all in my power to raise the yoke than to add anything that would tend to crush them” and “Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.”
May Lincoln’s words be the eternal light which shines in the darkest of times, may they teach us humility, instill a love of peace, and promote a sense of Grace for all mankind now and forever.
May the words of Lincoln be written on your hearts and may those words guide us to live lives which testify to the power of his legacy.
May God bless the soul of Abraham Lincoln and grant his Grace upon the United States of America
Thank you for your attention.
Written and given by Mark R. Day 4/14/18, Copyright by Mark R. Day 4/14/18, all rights reserved