|Secretary Kempthorne delivers remarks at the 198th birthday anniversary of America's 16th President, Abraham Lincoln on Monday, February 12, at the Lincoln Memorial.|
Washington, DC -- The National Park Service, the Military District of Washington (M.D.W.) and the Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee will sponsor this year's observance of the 198th birthday anniversary of America's 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, at 12 noon, Monday, February 12, at the Lincoln Memorial. There will be a music prelude beginning at 11:45 a.m. by the United States Air Force Ceremonial Brass along with other musical selections.
Speakers will include the Honorable Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Joseph M. Lawler, Regional Director National Park Service, National Capital Region. Peter Arrott Dixon, Chairman, Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Benjamin C. Frick, Esq., Commander-in-Chief, Military Order of the Loyal Legion, will read “Letter from the President.” The Honorable William A. Novas, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Navy, will read "The Gettysburg Address." The Frederick Talley Drum Hunt History Award of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion will be presented to Abigail Duvall, a student from the Severn School, Severn Park, MD. The Armed Forces Color Guard, MDW will make the presentation of colors and The Most Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin, Chaplain, U.S. House of Representatives, will deliver the invocation.
Major General Guy Swan, M.D.W., Commanding General, will lay the wreath for the President of the United States. Honorable Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior will lay the Department’s wreath. His Excellency Jerome Mendouga, Ambassador, Republic of Camaroon, Acting Dean, Diplomatic Corps, will lay the wreath for the Diplomatic Corps. Victor Reinoso, Deputy Mayor for Education, will lay the wreath for the District of Columbia and Jerry W. Zillion, Vice Chairman of the Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee, will lay the Committee's wreath. Civic floral tributes will follow with the sounding of "Taps" to conclude the program.
In 1911, legislation was passed authorizing funds for the construction of this great memorial. On February 12, 1914, the 105th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, the ground-breaking ceremony took place. The Military Order of the Loyal Legion, a co-sponsor of the ceremony, was founded by commissioned officers of the Union forces on the day of President Lincoln’s death, April 15, 1865. At President Harding’s request the Loyal Legion arranged the dedicatory ceremony for the Lincoln Memorial on Memorial Day, May 30, 1922. This ceremony has been a tradition since the Memorial’s dedication in 1922. The Loyal Legion then resolved to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of President Lincoln each year at the memorial beginning on February 12, 1923. The Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee, formed in 1981, together with the National Park Service and the Military District of Washington continues this tradition. This ceremony is always held on February 12, Lincoln’s birthday, regardless of the day of the week.
The Lincoln Memorial is a tribute to the 16th President of the United States and the nation he fought to preserve during the Civil War.