Washington, DC -- Today, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne urged all Americans to carry Abraham Lincoln in their hearts because Lincoln symbolizes the best of America.
“On this 198th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, let us be thankful for his life and for his example. Let us be thankful that we can carry the legacy of such an extraordinary man in our hearts,” Kempthorne said during a special observance of Lincoln’s 198th anniversary at the Lincoln Memorial. “God Bless Abraham Lincoln, God Bless the Union that he loved.”
Joseph M. Lawler, Regional Director National Park Service, National Capital Region, also spoke at the observance which was sponsored by the National Park Service, the Military District of Washington (M.D.W.) and the Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee. The ceremony featured musical selections by the United States Air Force Ceremonial Brass. Peter Arrott Dixon, Chairman, Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee served as the Master of Ceremonies. Benjamin C. Frick, Esq., Commander-in-Chief, Military Order of the Loyal Legion, read the “Letter from the President.” The Honorable William A. Novas, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Navy, read "The Gettysburg Address."
The Frederick Talley Drum Hunt History Award of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion was presented to Abigail Duvall, a student from the Severn School, Severn Park, MD. The Frederick Tally Drum Hunt Award was originally conceived by the late Frederick Tally Drum Hunt to promote, recognize, and honor and outstanding history student in the senior class at the Severn School. His hope and desire was that this award would serve to promote the study and appreciation of the Civil War, its leaders, and the vital part this era played in the history of our nation.
Wreaths were presented by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, Major General Guy Swan, M.D.W., Commanding General, for the President of the United States. His Excellency Jerome Mendouga, Ambassador, Republic of Camaroon, Acting Dean, Diplomatic Corps., Victor Reinoso, Deputy District of Columbia Mayor for Education, and Jerry W. Zillion, Vice Chairman of the Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee. Many civic floral tributes were also presented.
Monday, February 19, is the official national holiday for President’s Day.
The Lincoln Memorial is a tribute to the 16th President of the United States and the nation Lincoln fought to preserve during the Civil War.