On the eve of President Obama’s second inaugural address, I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s, delivered on the eve of both the end of the Civil War and his own assassination. Lincoln packed more into four paragraphs than others can deliver in forty pages, and every president since him dreams of trying to get even close to his eloquence. The last paragraph of that speech gets enormous attention — as it should — but if one doesn’t see what Lincoln does in the first three, that last immortal paragraph is robbed of its full power, and the powerful vision of the future he paints remains just that: a vision of the future.
|By: Peterr Saturday January 19, 2013 9:05 am|
|By: Peterr Thursday November 25, 2010 9:00 am|
For me this year, I think I’ll skip the discussions of pilgrims and native Americans dining at Plymouth. I’m more caught up in the shift from Thanksgiving as a bunch of local harvest festivals to Thanksgiving as a national holiday — an act undertaken in the midst of the bloody battles of the Civil War. Indeed, on this day of thanksgiving in the midst of massive economic turmoil, I give thanks for those things which transcend haves/have nots or winners/losers, and bind us together in our shared humanity.