Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: TOURIST ATTRACTION(S) (natural or man-made) (08/06/15)
- TITLE: The Man and His Memorial
By Brenda Rice
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Between the north and south chambers of the temple was the central hall occupied by the single figure, of a great American. The sixteenth President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln sat austere, majestic and contemplative, in a throne like chair.
Instantly, I knew I was not alone. My eyes feasted on the man, not the statue. I was filled with awe. History had taught me the facts, but his presence taught me the reality. This man Lincoln had literally stood between the North and South with his arms reaching out to both, his heart crying for a solution other than war. However, the will of the people North and South prevailed, but Lincoln stood on asking God to preserve the union---to preserve America.
As my gaze panned the enormous chamber, history was revealed in plain sight. The 36 columns guarding the temple represented the thirty-six states in the union at the time of Mr. Lincoln’s death. The forth-eight stone festoons adorning the attic above the columns inside the chamber represented the forty-eight states when the memorial was opened in May of 1922. Above Lincoln’s head his epitaph read . . . In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the union, Abraham Lincoln is enshrined here. Composed by: Royal Cortissov.
His memory was enshrined, but his spirit remained willingly to greet the millions, like me, who visit him each year. His voice I heard as a low rumble echoing through the chambers before drifting toward the river and over the hills of Arlington National Cemetery.
His spirit broods there over the dead. Some died on his watch. A truth he faced with great sorrow and remorse for human lives, but he reckoned the cost to save a nation had to be paid with the blood of valiant men, I mused.
I was drawn to engravings on the walls of the north and south chambers. They turned out to be Lincoln’s second inaugural speech and the Gettysburg Address. Famous words from an infamous American hero were heavily laden with references to scriptures and phrases filled with sincerity and compassion for every man, regardless of where they were from.
Hearing those words, in my voice when I read them aloud stirred something deep and urgent within me. I felt Mr. Lincoln saying that time was short and his message was still vital for our country today.
Time doesn’t change everything does it? I wondered if he knew that.
Walking out of the memorial into the bright sunlight, I looked heavenward. “Lord, thank you for the men and women who made this a great country. Give me the wisdom to convey the truth of Abraham Lincoln’s words to those with whom I have influence.”
I returned to the Lincoln Memorial one other time, and I was still in awe. I felt his spirit again declaring the urgent need for America to get things right. I still ponder the emotions Mr. Lincoln’s essence, in his memorial in Washington D.C., stirred within me as I stood there before him.
Thursday, November 19th, 1863 Abraham Lincoln spoke the following words at the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania . . .
that we here highly resolve that these dead shall have not died in vain—that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom—and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Source: Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia
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