Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Today is Abraham Lincoln's Birthday

(February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865)

Quotes from a column today by Paul Greenberg:

It is portentous, and a thing of state
That here at midnight, in our little town
A mourning figure walks, and will not rest,
Near the old court-house pacing up and down . . . .

He cannot sleep upon his hillside now.
He is among us:-as in times before!
And we who toss and lie awake for long,
Breathe deep, and start, to see him pass the door.

-Vachel Lindsay,
"Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight
(In Springfield, Illinois)"

National heroes are national touchstones. Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, Abraham Lincoln. They are more than history; they have entered into myth. They have come to figure in our rituals, rhetoric, folklore, song, literature, even our dreams. And how each generation depicts a hero may say more about us than about him.....

To read the rest of this wonderful column click on the title for a link.