Most of us have at least heard parts of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. We might even have read its chiseled words on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. It is a memorable speech to be sure. However, I believe Lincoln’s greatest speech, only 703 words long, is his Second Inaugural Address.
The pundits of Lincoln’s time gave the speech mixed reviews. But, Lincoln’s words have stood the test of time. Its final paragraph inspires me in today’s circumstances:
The Grandview Branch had the honor of hosting a presidential visit Thursday, March 17th; President Abraham Lincoln, that is. President Lincoln both entertained and informed the crowd as he talked about growing up in Kentucky and Indiana, working in New Salem, Illinois, his early career as a lawyer, and his marriage and family with wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.
I belong to a book club. One of the many benefits is that I read books I might not have chosen on my own. Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year, by David Von Drehle, is one of those titles. The premise of this book is that the year 1862 determined the outcome of the Civil War and cemented the reputation of Lincoln as one of our greatest presidents.