tv Lincoln Memorial Centennial Ceremony CSPAN June 26, 2022 3:00pm-4:59pm EDT
let's let's all get started. we have a great program for you today to the 100th birthday. 100th anniversary of the dedication of the lincoln memorial which you might recognize as the building right behind us. i want to start by let's have a rounder applause for the united states marine band. band. the president's own brass quintet. and we will hear a lot more from them over the course of the next couple of hours. so don't go away. they have a lot more to do. so i'll start by introducing who i am and why i'm here.
my name is david j kent. i'm the president of the lincoln group of the district of columbia or the lincoln group of dc. i assume that's for the lincoln group and not for me in particular. lincoln group is one of the most active lincoln organizations in the country and even though we are based here in dc. our membership is worldwide and really worldwide but especially countrywide so we've been around since the 1930s. so we are very happy today to have helped organize this program. along with the national park service, and i especially want to call out jamie boyle who without whom this none of this would have happened. and and co-sponsored by the lincoln forum of which harold holder is the chair and harold you'll be hearing from harold in a shortly.
so i also want to thank roberta and leiden schwarzenberger who who's generous contribution helped underrate. much of this program as well as all the other people who helped. provide funds to get this done. so i want to thanks in advance to all the speakers all the contributor supporters for making this program possible. now to give you a little bit of a preamble as we'll hear during today's program. the memorial was dedicated in 1922. 100 years ago this month and a full 57 years after abraham lincoln's assassination. so over a half a century after lincoln died. they finally put up a suitable memorial to him and will hear a little bit about. today why it took so long. the speakers that day were the chief justice and former president william howard taft. who formally turned over the
memorial to the then current president warren g harding? there was another famous person here that day by the name of robert lincoln president lincoln's son. who was present and had taken part in the development of the of the memorial, but who did not have a speaking role that day 100 years ago. but one person who did have a speaking role. a hundred years ago was dr. robert russa moton. dr. moten was an african-american director of the tuskegee institute. and he was a presidential advisor. dr. moten's words, you know were censored that day because we're in the midst of a segregation error. and the ceremony itself was segregated. we'll hear a lot more about dr. moten later today, but in regards to dr. moten, we have a couple of surprises.
first off some of you may have noticed that some of the sections are kind of cordoned off. we have members of the tuskegee alumni association. here today and we have very special guests here today. through the work of john kelly at the washington post and one of our members who prefers to remain in the backseat anonymous. we're able to locate four members of dr. robert russell motins ancestors or descendants. i'm sorry his descendants. so i want to i want to have them stand up and and i'll introduce them. and they should be over here dr. so we have robert d. moton. who is the great grandson? of dr. robert armed there was some melton we have his wife
jennifer hardy moten. and their daughter parker mountain now robert is a great grandson. which makes parker a great great granddaughter of dr. robert rosemount. and that's not that's not the end. we also have consuela austin. who is on great-granddaughter of dr. rockford tourism ocean? so we're very happy that they were able to travel to dc. and and be part of this presentation of and get to hear more about their their great-grandfather. and great great grandfather from a hundred years ago. so let's begin the program. i have the distinct pleasure. of welcoming charles sam's the third chuck sam's is the was
just confirmed last december. as the president bidens first director of the national park service. the truck sam's first native american director of the national park service is cayuse and walla walla and in the world member of the confederated tribes of the umatilla indian reservation in northeast, oregon where he grew up. sam's is a veteran of the us navy. and he's where he served as in an intelligence specialist, and we're very very honored to have him today. so, please welcome to the stan national park service director chuck sams. this might skin in aim yuma. well, good morning my friends and relatives. i'm so pleased to be here as the 19th director of the national park service, and i want to
welcome you to the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the dedication of the lincoln memorial. i'm so very honored to participate as lincoln memorial holds a very special place in my heart as i know it does in many of yours. last december secretary holland and i made the short walk over from the department of interior building where i was ceremonious sworn in on these very steps. standing where dr. king delivered his i have a dream speech in 1963. i held on to an eagle feather and a medallion that were given to me by my grandfather the late charles f sam senior who had fought in the second world war. as i also became the very first tribal citizen to lead the national park service. as we stood on these steps looking out onto the national mall secretary holland wanted me to feel the full effect that i was being charged by the president united states and the american people to be the steward and keeper of our national parks our memorials and our monuments. she had me look at my feet so that i could recognize that i
was standing where dr. king had given his speech and she said to me we now are part of his dream realized. as two american indians serving on a national level under president biden i would like to recognize the lincoln group of washington for their partnership with the national park service and planning of today's program as well as the many other programs they've assisted with over the years. as the longest continuously serving lincoln study organization in the united states. they have partnered with us on other organizations in recent years to celebrate and interpret this the hundred or the 150th anniversary lincoln's first and second inauguration. the emancipation proclamation the gettysburg address and the assassination and funeral train procession of president lincoln. i want to thank you for your unwavering commitment to ensuring that the life and work of abraham lincoln is not forgotten. i'd also like to recognize superintendent jeff ryan bold
and the staff of the national mall memorial parks where their hard work and putting together. not only today's program but the entire month of excellent talks tours and public engagement surrounding the 100th anniversary of the lincoln memorial. we please stand. thank you, jeff, and thank you to your staff. so thank all the participants here today for sharing your times and talents with us. in his keynote address at the dedication of this memorial nearly 100 years ago, dr. robert, rosenmoten principal of the tuskegee institute invoked lincoln's second inaugural address recognizing that america had fallen short of the great emancipators vision of a nation of equality and i quote with malice towards none with charity for all i somehow believe that all of us are going to strive on to finish the work which he so nobly began to make american example for the world of equal justice and equal opportunity for all. those words pend almost 100 years ago still ring true today
in the united states struggling to create a nation where all people are truly created equal. and the sacred national space of this memorial has become a focal point for that struggle. from marian anderson in 1939 to dr. king in 1963 to the black lives matter protest of two summers ago. the lincoln memorial has become the nation's preeminent stage for first amendment demonstrations particularly with regards to civil rights. and therein hat lies the power and importance of our national parks. yes these sites preserve the past and enshrining the memories of the famous, but they also serve as important forums. places where we cannot only discuss the legacies of great americans like abraham lincoln, but also can draw inspiration from that legacy to call for and enact change. here at the lincoln memorial we can both learn where we came from as a nation and examine where we are headed. secretary holland has made it part of her mission to tell the
full story of america. even the dark pages of our history books so that we can learn from our past and build a more equitable and inclusive future. i would be this as an american indian if i did not acknowledge the dakota 38 in which president lincoln had to make the decision in which the execution of the tribes would uprised during the dakota wars. while recognizing that president lincoln had made hard decisions as i've learned throughout his life and drawn inspiration from him for 1989 the first time i came to washington dc i came to read both of the inscriptions that are in this hall. and in those descriptions, i recognize not only a strong president, but also a flawed man and as i read his biographies understanding the struggles that he had as a man as a human being to make the hard decisions. but there was the execution of the dakota 38 or the decision that we must go to war. but the one thing that rings true to me today as it does on
the second inaugural is that it's only us as americans who will most likely be the seed of our own destruction. and therefore because of this experiment we call the united states. we must all work together to form that more perfect union. we must all strive to ensure that we uphold freedom and equality to our fellow man. into that. i'm very thankful for his presidency, and i'm very thankful for this memorial being here to remind the american people so that we can teach this for generations to come. and it's not just on anniversaries or selected dates throughout the year that we do this the national park service is here every day of every year watching over the lincoln memorial and other monuments. pass along the stories of heroism heroism honoring the work and sacrifices of those who came before and providing a powerful forum for americans to raise their voices and debate the issues of the day. and the national park service is in the forever business ensuring these places will be protected and remembered in perpetuity so
that when your grandchildren's grandchildren visit this place and their grandchildren after them who will still be that we this will still be here. explaining how america how america we know today and the blessings. we enjoy as a free people were shaped by these great individuals and the national parks that honor them. i want to thank you all and god bless america and the men and women who are in uniform both civilian and military. thank you. okay. thank you chuck sams. and if you look at your program, you'll see that the next person up here is robert pollock. robert pollock, unfortunately had a fall this past week and couldn't be with us. but he sent. jeffrey burden, who is the past commander in chief of the military order of the loyal legion of the united states. now you've probably heard that
mouthful a couple of times in the past in fact if you were here on lincoln's birthday, it's the loyal legion that does most of the arranging to have that wreath-laying ceremony here at the lincoln memorial on lincoln's birthday in the military order of the loyal legion of the united states. sometimes called maulus was formed immediately after the associate assassination of abraham lincoln. he's played a fundamental role in preserving the memory of our 16th president. so next up will be the current commander. they i'm sorry the past commander-in-chief jeffrey burden will tell us about mollus and lead the presentation of kohler's and the pledge of allegiance. so welcome jeffrey burden. thank you, david. good morning.
in 1921 as the lincoln memorial took its final shape and neared completion. president warren harding requested that the military order of the loyal legion of the united states take responsibility for organizing and coordinating the 1922 dedication event. the order and it's then commander in chief general nelson. appleton miles a veteran of almost every major battle of the war's eastern theater. gladly accepted that charge as david mentioned the loyal legion was founded in april 1865. it was the first post-civil war veterans organization created by and four men who who had served as commissioned officers. in the army and navy of the united states. it is now composed of relatives of those men and other interested persons. we who are companions of the loyal legion take special prides pride in the deeds and legacy. of those who served under president lincoln and i'm pleased also to have with us
today. mr. rick berry and other past commander in chief of the loyal legion and his daughter beth rock the current national president of the ladies of the grand army of the republic. since that dedication day in 1922 companions of the loyal legion have come back every year on lincoln's birthday. to renew that initial charge and pay homage to the man in whose silent presence. we are today. i thank the lincoln group of the district of columbia and the national park service. for their efforts today and i trust that today's celebration will help renew our commitment. to remembering abraham lincoln's life. and work and i thank you for attending. ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the preservation of the presentation of the colors and the singing of the national anthem. followed by the pledge of allegiance oh.
thank you as you can see some of our guests are somewhat taller than i am. so our invocation will be offered by the reverend dr. sarah johnson. senior pastor at the new york avenue presbyterian church you know while lincoln was president, this was lincoln's church. as well as the church of many of his cabinet members and memory members of congress it was reverend wallace radcliffe of the new york avenue presbyterian church who offered the invocation at the dedication ceremony here at the lincoln memorial 100 years ago. so to continue in that tradition, please welcome the reverend doctor sarah johnson.
friends, let us pray. got our help in ages past. our hope for years to come we thank you for the gift of this beautiful day and for the opportunity and privilege to gather to mark a memorable occasion. moment and monument in our country's history. as we sit in the shadow of this great monument, we remember and give thanks for the life and legacy of president abraham lincoln. and his unwavering commitment that a government of the people by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth. we humbly ask that the marking and the memory of this day and of days before. will not lull us into a dream
like state. an ill-fed longing for the way things were but will awaken us to see clearly the past as it truly was. the present as it still is and the future of liberty and justice for all as you desire it to be god in whom we live and move and have our being as we seek to live faithfully help us to place our allegiance fully and finally in you. we consecrate within us the courage to continue to strive boldly together toward a more perfect union. dedicated to the proposition that all persons are created equal. free our souls and the soul of this nation conceived in liberty and birthed in freedom. from the chains of that original
sin of white supremacy that still lurks in the shadows and systems and structures within which we live. by your grace and power us to bravely join in the ongoing work of unstitching the brittle thread of bondage. woven year after year into the fabric of our nation. guide us by the light of liberty send us fourth in the spirit of truth. with malice toward none and charity for all with firmness in the right as god gives us to see the right. may we strive ever forward? as repairers of the breach we ask all this in the name of the one who came. that all people might have life. and have it abundantly. amen now, i'm sure many of you
was amazingly in 1990 32 years ago. so that gets me to the beginning really of the history part of our program. and if you're putting together. a program and you need a neighborhood lincoln expert for your major event for example like today or you want somebody to serve as a historical advisor? for example steven spielberg on the movie lincoln or to write a book. highlighting the remarkable life of one of world's most renowned sculptures. in daniel chester french it's a sure bet. that harold holder would be the first person that you call. and we did. so for many years harold was the senior executive of a metropolitan museum of art before moving on to become the
jonathan fenton director of hunter colleges house public policy institute. among his many many leadership positions is chairman of the lincoln forum? which were very happy to say is co-sponsoring today's event. herald as authored co-authored edited co-edited well over 50 books. i lost count. most of which are on my shelf by the way. and he has won many awards including. the 2015 gilda lerman lincoln prize the most prestigious prize in the lincoln realm. is also the author of monument man the life and art of daniel chester french who as you'll find out in a few minutes had something to do with this statue up behind me. so the stool expertise in lincoln and art makes them the perfect person to trace the history the art and the architecture of the lincoln memorial.
including the seated statue that has continued to inspire us even a hundred years later. so please welcome to the podium harold holder. good morning, and thank you david for the introduction and for all you've done. to create this event. you know, i can't help thinking as i start. those of us on the platform have been looking across the reflecting pool and the square dome building in the distance the old library of congress. is the site where abraham lincoln lived in a boarding house during his first term in congress? during which he introduced a resolution to ban slavery in the district of columbia. took him another 13 or 14 years to sign that legislation as president. but it's just an interesting flow of.
the inexorable enhancement of human rights from one side of the pool up to this statue and what's happened since so daniel chester french the sculptor whose great lincoln statue we're here to rededicate. was once asked to describe what it was meant to convey and this is what he said. work over victory his as you can tell the genius who was responsible for this amazing work of art did not believe in explaining it. or any of his art as he put it a statue ought to speak for itself. it's useless to explain to everyone what it means. but there was so much media interest in this statue when it was installed here on the anniversary of the gettysburg address in 1919 and then unveiled two and a half years later so many requests for him to say what he had in mind that
unusually french relented and then as succinctly as he could he issued what we might call the caption for the greatest icon in america. work over victory his he was a man of many works of art and few words. but i don't think he would be surprised to see us gathered here marking the hundredth anniversary of its official dedication and still pondering his work. and his message he was not surprised at the rave reviews which included awe-inspiring magnificent. colossal yet personal. that the statue earned when it was first dedicated in his presence in 1922. he fully expected it to sit here revered. maybe growing beloved as it has forever. one of his last comments on the site which he visited when he was past 80 was that he wished he could live.
a thousand years just to be able to come back and look at the lincoln memorial. so who was? daniel chester french important to know because the statue is far more famous than the statue maker. while he was a college dropout yankee sculptor who trained in concord, massachusetts new york boston and italy? he was only in his early twenties when he created his first national icon the minuteman for his hometown in concord. he worked here in washington for a time but to little acclaim. he got eight dollars a day to create statuary for post offices and other government buildings and those commissions he got because his father was assistant secretary of the treasury who was in charge of giving out the commissions. then he did a statue of john gallaudet for the college campus.
and later the beautiful fountain at dupont circle. where his collaborator was a young architect? named henry bacon as you can tell from those two commissions. french could do symbolism and he could do realism. very few people very few artists crossed over between those two styles as beautifully. he could do men and angels women as angels though a colleague once said that he preferred doing torsos to doing trousers. i'll let that sink in for a minute. but as you can see when he got a trouser commission, he did fine. he went on to sculpt civil war heroes like general grant and general hooker he never portrayed a confederate general. so when it came time to choose a sculptor for this project. there was no formal competition. at age 65 french was the first
and only choice not because he was head of the commission organizing the search for the architect. which he was. not just because the contract he signed with henry bacon the designer stipulated that bacon could choose the sculptor. which he did? and not because he'd already done a beautiful lincoln for lincoln, nebraska for the state capitol, which he also did. i think he got the job because he was the greatest living american sculptor and also because nobody dared to say he shouldn't well guts and borglam actually did say that he wanted the commission, but he had to settle for mount rushmore, which was not a bad alternative. french set to work in 1915 and from a mound of inert clay. no preparatory drawings that we've ever discovered. working at his beautiful studio
in stockbridge, massachusetts somehow crafted a fully formed little 13 inch model. this is the part that as much as i a non-artist can write about an artist that i don't fathom. there's the clay and a week later. there's the lincoln memorial in miniature. see the great lincoln artists wendy allen here nodding. she may know how it's done, but i don't know how it's done. it's called create creative genius. it's hands resting a chair of state. gays cast downward at ease but in command relaxed but tense weary but accomplished. and the basic concept never really changed from that initial burst of inspiration. where do the idea originate? the french never said somehow he could see it in. his mind's eye from the start. but he did realize when he called the responsibility of making a statue of the nation's best-loved man in a beautiful
beautiful building. he wanted he said to make it a little better than i know how. and he did he wanted he said he wanted it to express simplicity and grandeur at the same time. along with power and it does he turned to models like lincoln's life mask and the cast of lincoln's hand hands made the day after his nomination to the presidency, but instead of using them he made cast of his own hands the way he wanted them to rest french believed hands were almost as important as the face and lincoln's needed to show strength and power but friendliness in those original casts lincoln's right hand is clenched because his hand was swollen that day. french did not believe lincoln should have a clenched right hand it should be open in an eternal act of approachability and friendliness. instead of having the left leg
extend as it did in the original model. he changed it to emphasize the right to him. it was just a different kind of torsion. he was ready to get up ready to do what needed to be done. should he make the chin sink even lower on the chest as it had in his nebraska statue? no french concluded that would make lincoln look for lauren. rather than resolute after sculpting a larger 3 foot model than a seven foot version. he was ready to get to work on the 13 foot statue. commission for this site finally he visited here. henry bacon the architect took him on a tour inside the 60-foot high atrium that you see in front of you and suddenly dan french realized that his original concept. was just too small the statue would be dwarfed in this vast space. so he asked the government to give him more funding and more marble.
to enlarge the statute to 19 feet $25,000 was a lot of money. in the 19 teens powers that be resisted so he made on his own a larger plaster head shipped it down here. had it hoisted to the height that the head is here. and insisted that officials come and see it they did and they admitted that he was right in admitting his original mistake. so they gave him the additional funds. before the statue came fully to life here. it had many birthplaces chester wood and stockbridge. manhattan where he worked the other half of each year when he wasn't in the berkshires and the bronx, new york. home of the first place new york yankees, sorry. where italian immigrant marble cutters teacher really brothers carved away to the sound of caruso records and the daily nourishment of ravioli made by
the brothers labored away on 240 tons of marble blocks. no doubt mind by black laborers in georgia. so in a sense an inclusively american enterprise and then imagine the statue all 28 pieces. all but seven of them carved was never assembled until it was shipped here by rail and installed here for the first time in 1919 under french's supervision. it fit perfectly, no one was sure it would but it did and those who were visiting in the early fall of 1919 might have seen a thin. follically challenged my kind of guy sculptor scampering up and down ladders. polish out areas that he wanted to polish to fill in the seams so that you could not see the seams how bonding those 21 pieces.
90 from one foot to 19 feet. it had retained its power humanity and coherence. so on this hundredth anniversary. what do we owe daniel chester french? beyond his truly monumental talent. i wanted to count some of the ways. he championed henry bacon as an architect his frequent collaborator. he resigned as chairman of the commission of fine arts and then bacon appointed him the sculptor. so it was a win-win for creativity. he insisted as i said that the statue be just the right size to fill the atrium yet respectful over the magnificent space. he insisted it be marble not bronze, which was one of the original alternatives and many preferred consider the harmony. that that choice has produced marble and granite and more marble. he insisted that it not be a standing which some people wanted but a seated lincoln
because he wanted lincoln's face to be fully visible from the reflecting pool to the bottom step to the platform all the way to the stop us to the top a standing lincoln might have denied visitors that transcendent experience. he realized that the open door policy. we all cherish. because it lets us visit any time day or night. wound up casting a harsh glare on his masterpiece and he saw the lighting for the first time when he came back from italy. so he installed. he first investigated then installed the first electric lighting here that made his lincoln look perfect. 24/7 he also by the way championed its sighting here on the mall. there were so many alternatives originally union station. capitol hill, meridian park the soldiers home the naval observatory. all existing is proposals.
and he and he and lincoln's one time private secretary then secretary of state john hay thought it should be in an isolated area yet an accessible area. even when the speaker of the house said he would he would. do anything he could to prevent a statue of his hero rising in this gosh, darn swamp. and he didn't say gosh darn, but you know. this is a family event. finally french even commissioned the words behind the statue in this temple etc. he assigned the job to a magazine writer who didn't come through. and then he wisely chose an art critic who had written very kind words about daniel chester french's work. what a good idea. he also prays the statue for its ghostly grandeur so he got the job. maybe this was an interlocking directory with some conflicts of interest, but didn't it turn out well. perhaps french should have
insisted that not just the gettysburg address and second inaugural be carved inside but the emancipation proclamation to which lincoln believed his central act. french said he wanted to stress lincoln's confidence in his ability to carry the thing through. but what thing? he never really said. instead french quoted another one of his one-time models for a sculptor sculpture ralph waldo emerson an artist like a poet is entitled to credit for anything that anyone can find in his work. and ultimately over the generations. we have found many new meanings. the statue has evolved from a symbol of reunion into a stage for equality and opportunity for what lincoln called. our unfinished work looming behind this more metamorphosis for a hundred years has been daniel chester french's statue an image that replaced uncle as
the national symbol. in caricature in cartoon whether weeping over the death of president, kennedy and one famous cartoon or fist bumping president obama in another one on his inauguration. it's also the place where presidents elect host their final events before the inaugurations. either boisterous celebratory events or the kind of remote events filled with poppies representing the dead of covid that president-elect biden held here on january 19th 2021. and of course, it's emerged as the backdrop to the american dream of government of by and for the people in an agent which public statutory has come under scrutiny. when some statues have come down. even lincoln statues this one remains a national touchstone as
indestructible as we like to think we the people are it would not have happened if all the pieces had not fit into place literally and figuratively. an artistic tour de force and an american icon by one supremely gifted if tight-lipped. american artistic genius so maybe to daniel chester french weekend all say a hundred years later what he once said of his lincoln. work over victory his in line with his vision, let's continue to cherish his artistic victory. while pursuing the nation's incomplete work thank you. harold well next up we have one of the leading experts on abraham lincoln. as well as reconstruction and 19th century african american
history. dr. edna green medford as professor emeritus at howard university up the road here. we spent in a rover 35 years at howard university. she was professor in the history department. she was chairman of chairperson of the history department. she was director of graduate and undergraduate programs. she was associated progressed provost. and even interim dean of the college of arts and sciences she's very happily just retired. so she served in a variety of leadership roles and is currently the vice president of the abraham lincoln institute. as well as on the executive committee of the lincoln forum. she's written many many books. papers she's won many awards including the order of lincoln, which is the highest award given by the state of illinois named
after some guy named abraham lincoln. and her most recent book was called lincoln and emancipation. so dr. merford will trace for us the ever-evolving meeting of the lincoln memorial where over its hundred year history. it's grown from something focused initially on national unity to its growing role in civil rights and a symbol of hope for all americans and i might add a baseball team that i took a picture of this morning on the steps a wedding ceremony that took place and they're throughout their pictures with the lincoln memorial and you might see the remnants of some of the local colleges who have had their graduation pictures taken out here on the lincoln memorial with that, please welcome dr. edna green medford. thank you, mr. kent. and thank you to the lincoln group of dc for the invitation
to speak to this wonderful audience this morning. i believe you're all baking just like i am. so i'll try to be brief. on may 30th 1922 a diverse group of americans gathered at the site to honor the most celebrated man ever elected to national office at least in this country. in attendance were top governmental officials including the president the chief justice of the supreme court himself a former president cabinet members senators and representatives. the president's oldest and and his only surviving son and ordinary folk who collectively shared a moment in american history that would grow in meaning and significance with time. reflecting the unity and reconciliation that the memorial was met to symbolize.
the audience consisted of both confederate and union veterans whose advanced ages had perhaps tempered the animosity of their animosity toward each other. the attendees also included black union veterans and other members of the african-american community. who contrary to the spirit of national togetherness occupied a space separate and apart from the rest? the principal or president of alabama's tuskegee institute and one of the most prominent black men in the nation, dr. robert russum moten had the privilege and in many ways the burden of giving voice to the unique concerns 12 million black americans. his initial draft concluded with a moderate condemnation of the federal government, which he said could send soldiers abroad to defend the freedoms of other
men and women but appeared to lack the will to do the same for black americans at home. he assured the audience that african-americans men and women expected no special privileges, but declared that they sought the quote largest enjoyment of opportunity and the fullest blessings of freedom. this was not the speech of an agitator instead. he intended simply to to make the case for inclusion of all people in america's promise. he sought to honor lincoln by reminding the audience that the president's work remained unfinished. but ending but exceeding to the radical the ratio animus of the day the memorial commission refused to approve such a candid assessment of race relations in america. chief justice william howard taft chairman of the commission
insisted that modern modify his speech to make it more palatable to the anticipated predominantly white audience. molten complied by delivering a speech that focused on the accomplishments of african americans in spite of the daily challenges they faced. he assured the audience that in the years since emancipation black citizens had proven themselves worthy of lincoln's sacrifice. gone with any overt criticism of the government? despite the commission's efforts to set up to censor the truth. and limit the memorials meeting the site would become a backdrop for rallies both large and small. where americans advocated conservative ideas as well as progressive ones? it would be a silent host to anti-war demonstrations to presidential pre inaugural gatherings.
to both pro-choice and pro-life rallies to religious gatherings and more recently to protest of covid-19 mandates moreover. the memorial has been a consistent and effective symbol. for organizations pressing for social justice and a more inclusive american while every gathering on these grounds has had particular meaning for its organizers and participants. it has been the urgency and intensity of the civil rights movement of movement that continues to live if in an altered form that has given the memorial so much relevance to our time. the expanded meaning of this place first found expression in the form not so much of a protest or a civil rights rally per se. but rather in an easter sunday
1939 gathering of thousands of tens of thousands of people to hear the famed contralto marian anderson in concert. denied access to constitution hall by the daughters of the american revolution who adapted a policy of borrowing black performers from the facilities stage? anderson's situation came to the attention of first lady eleanor roosevelt and the secretary of the interior herald ackies who offered the memorial as an alternative site. the setting different significantly from the 1922 dedication in both sides and inclusiveness. anderson sang before a crowd estimated at 75,000 with untold numbers listening in by radio. this time black americans were spared the indignity of separation from the rest of the audience. the event did more than
celebrate the talents of an exceptional singer it signaled the ability of americans to enjoy a shared experience without one racial group being treated as inferior. and it's so doing it became a place where all citizens were welcome. two years later when labor leader and civil rights activists a philip randolph threatened a march on washington to bring attention to issues of discrimination and employment and segregation in the military. the lincoln memorial was proposed as the rallying point. randolph canceled the march only after president franklin roosevelt issued an executive order that are laid some of the protesters concerns. but two decades later a march on washington would take place and the memorial would serve as a compelling backdrop. to the demand for jobs and freedom the 1963 march was
attended by an estimated 250 to 300,000 people of various racial and socio-economic persuasions. among the prominent organizers organizers and speakers of the day was the 34 year old martin luther king jr. who's now famous? i have a dream speech conveyed to those assembled the message dr. moten had wanted to communicate for decades earlier. although the kennedy administration urged dr. king to temper his speech just as taft had urged dr. moten to do. dr. king was able to effectively express in eloquent prose the struggle of african americans 100 years after lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation. they were still according to dr. king. they were still they still bore
the burden of segregation and discrimination and poverty and they remained marginalized in their own country. yet standing before the lincoln memorial king remained optimistic. he envisioned a future america in which lincoln's beliefs that everyone should have a quote fair chance in the race of life would be realized. social justice groups continue to gather at this memorial because it is a reminder that change is possible even when the circumstances appear hopeless. the challenges the nation faced a century and a half ago seemed formidable, but the union endured because of strong leadership and the will of enough people to secure its survival. our challenge our challenges are no less daunting. but they can be met successfully. as a nation founded on the
principal that all men and by extension women are created equal and are entitled to the rights given by god to all of humanity. we proudly proclaim our exceptionalism. but history and current events remind us that our exceptionalism is more an aspiration than reality. it is in our power. however. individually and collectively to actualize that exceptionalism by resolutely and courageously confronting the challenges that keep us divided. and too much like every other nation on earth. in his actions to preserve the union and enslavery lincoln showed that courage. this memorial gives us hope that we can do the same. so as we gather here today challenged by the forces of hate and fear.
and overt attacks on democracy. we should commit ourselves to finishing lincoln's work. to ensuring an equally inclusive society to do what is best for the nation and not for ourselves individually? when we can do this. will have earned the right to think of ourselves as exceptional. and we will have properly honored the man for whom this memorial was built. back to dr. murphburg and one of basically i get to get up here and introduce everybody. so that's that's my main rule today, and i have a special privilege of introducing our next speaker. who is our keynote speaker for the day. dr. charlotte morris is the current and 9th. president of tuskegee university, which is the current
iteration of what was tuskegee institute 100 years ago. when her predecessor dr. robert moten spoke here at the dedication. dr. morris is only the second moment to hold a position of president of the institution and in her 36 years at tuskegee. she said many many roles there including as the associate dean of the college of business and information scientists and three times as interim president. she earned her phd at kansas state university after receiving master's degrees at delta state and jackson state university. today she continues in the tradition begun by dr. robert rosa moton. and will speak to our theme of building on abraham lincoln's vision of unity and equality, so, please welcome dr. charlotte morris.
thank you, mr. kent. good morning. to my platform guests members of the lincoln group ladies and gentlemen on behalf of tuskegee university, it's board of trustees alumni faculty staff and students. i offer my sincere appreciation to the lincoln group of the district of columbia and the united states national park service for extending this invitation to provide remarks at this important commemoration. i must also gratefully acknowledge our special guests in the audience including of course the tuskegee university board of trustees my colleagues from the campus my family and other friends who have joined here for this occasion.
on this day we together celebrate the 16th president of these united states of america and affirm president abraham lincoln as a charismatic and forward-thinking leader of the free world. our continuing observance at this memorial is a reminder of the human yarning to be free and equal. search a quest emanates when oppressed people or denied the rights of liberty equity gestures and the pursuit of happiness. a promise of america was to provide equal opportunity to all its citizens. when these rights are denied people congregate. in this place to publicly express their dismay and seek
redress. therefore we together must be willing to accept the truth about the state of america's democracy and labor continuously to change its inequitable practices. if we do not future marches across the united states will undoubtedly become a permanent reminder of america's hypocrisy and taint the spirit of our democracy. as we stand on these hallowed grounds. i am reminded of the political of the politics 100 years ago as has been stated when dr. robert russell mood. mountain the second president of tuskegee university delivered the first address to this memorial as the only african-american speaker. dr. modan wrote an impressive and powerful missive on may 30th 1922 it was a courageous
indictment against america's fractured and faltering progress toward racial equity and justice for all its people. however the audience never really received the full measure of dr. modan's intended message his written remarks. to the segregated audience was severely censored. later, according to the national park service on may 30th 2009. the event lead is selected dr. benjamin f payton the president of tuskegee university. to deliver his memorial address dr. payton was given a prominent seat on the stage and reserved seats on several roles for university board members alumni and other guests. president peyton's unedited remarks were insightful and paid homers to lincoln's accommend and acceptable leadership. so some changes did come.
but what happened to those changes? today i stand on the shoulders of both presidents moten and peyton. like lincoln they provided exemplary leadership at a time when the country was still mired and divisive discussions around the rights and freedoms of american people. particularly people of color so in the spirit of both president lincoln and my tuskegee university predecessors. i too offer my remarks. i hope these ideas will further implore all of us to reflect on the past and plan for the transformational future with malice toward none. president lincoln was an unflappable leader. in an unpopular war who drafted unheard of legislation?
assumed unconstitutional and unprecedented executive powers as our nation's commander in chief. and posted uncommon protestant alliances in an attempt to preserve his beloved union at all costs. and bring these flawed nation from the brink of destruction by its own hands. lincoln's adept leadership and mastery about the law and governance laid the foundation for public policy enactment. and still undergird our infrastructure today as noted by author david kent. the moral act which established the us land-grand university systems and provided federal land and funds for post-secondary education institutions focused on agricultural mechanical arts and rotc programs.
the establishment of the department of agriculture the yosemite's grant of 1864 which set aside the first protected park on federal-owned land and which was the procura to the establishment of the national park system. from his gettysburg address to the emancipation proclamation lincoln demonstrated his desire for a new birth of freedom. lincoln's vision has become the hallmark of our democracy. and has implored us to become a government of the people by the people for the people that shall not perish from this earth. we must concede that president lincoln was more than just the grady masturbator. he was a visionary guardian of truth freedom and justice. as someone so aptly said he was
not building america to last for a day, but through the ages. america is bathed in centuries of oppression. 246 years after its founding in 1776 we remain a nation yawning to find freedom and equality as we work to form a more perfect union. our yesterday our yesterday's are now irreversible imperfections to be remembered but not repeated. as a nation our today should be brimming with the substantive policies laws actions and sacrifices needed to make us whole yet. they are not. if lincoln were here today, he might shed a silent mournful tear for the condition of his beloved country. the lovely words about freedom
and equality in the constitution and the declaration of independence. have a hollow ring in the ears of minorities. abraham lincoln stood for truth for ethics for initiative and for economic free press and enterprise he stood for a belief in freedom. for belief in god and for a belief in human forgiveness. these qualities of his character made him one of the most highly respected statesman in the history. of the world and these are the transformational qualities. that will help to keep our nation great in the future. but america is stuck right now america stuck in a morass moral morass of epic proportions and our collective hopes for the future are once again in peril
factions among us seek to invalidate the civil rights and liberties guaranteed. to each of us our beloved country is divided and employed employing for. from the inside while legislative stand idly by insulating themselves with their growing and diverse electorate some leaders wear stoic public mass that has ever changing as the substances demand. our leaders pretend to hear no evil and see no evil when it comes to anti-black violence gun violence voting rights women's rights and civil rights. where is the accountability? from whom shall we extract a proactive response to the issues that plague our sedentary? how then do we become a reconciled proactive country seizing every opportunity to
face embrace and uphold the rights of all people as our founding father intended. regrettably we have forgotten president lincoln's quote. nations do not die from invasion. they die from internal rottenness. yes america. internal rottenness is still alive and incubating in the plain sight. internal rottenness occurred on january 6 truly that was a date that will be that will live in infantry. on that date the cancerous big lie metastasized because we allowed a few tyrants to incite and insurrection that nearly toppled our democracy. the cancerous cells spread from the site where they were emerged and have now infected the body politics and state governments throughout the world.
the booker t washington the founding principle of tuskegee institute was alive today. he would have told these insurrectionists. a lie doesn't become true. wrong doesn't become right and evil doesn't become good just because it's accepted by the majority. like lincoln i too love america. i have lived in the deep south all of my life. and like many of us have witnessed the unsavory side of america's inequities. these experiences have not changed in my resolve. however. i still have confidence in our country and confidence in our future. however i am also a realist. i know we can enact laws to seek equality, but we cannot legislate emotions. are dispel the venom from the
hearts of those who seek to limit positive change? we must change the equation in the consciousness of those who seek to trample the rights of others. we must change their thoughts of being better than others to thoughts of being equal to others. each of us must agree to recognize our own at those centuries. and remove the that filter from our social discour only then can we truly engage and embrace our people in a spirit of positivity instead of self-righteousness only then can the bomb of reconciliation be applied. so as a woman of color and the president of a thriving historically black university. i say to you today.
lincoln's vision is in serious jeopardy and maybe drowning in a sea of apathy unless we you and i in partnership with our leaders develop the courage to advocate for equity justice and voting rights the willingness to promote unity and inclusion the fortitude to champion ethics accountability and integrity the foresight to make real a vision that is long overdue. therefore let us direct our attention to the consensus. we must pursue without malice, but with foresight forethought to make america the democratic bastion of freedom for all citizens. together let us lobby our politicians to pass the freedom to vote act. together let us consent to build
broad coalitions in defense of our democracy and work across the many aisles that divide us. together let us aggressively affirm the words in the declaration of independence. all are created equal. therefore all lives matter and that includes black lives, too. together let us pledge to think for ourselves. and never allow social media or public opinions to speak for us. established a standards by which we gauge truth to determine our self-worth or to define our demand democratic values. and give our young people. hope for the future. together let us work with our communities our state legislators and congress to reorganize our mental health system facilities and staff so that violent acts like the one
we just experienced in buffalo and earlier in charleston. do not happen again. together let us remind each other of lincoln's vision. of unity and equality of by keeping it in the forefront of our discussions and conferences webinars. try to discussions for unparalleled reach and impact. and together let us never allow this information hatred or racism to to become the internal rottenness. that overshadow our democracy. if we do not change soon, we will succumb to a force of intolerant malice. nick negating that very premises upon which our nation was built. to resist proactive change will
forever tonnage and belill the symbolic message of the lincoln memorial. therefore let us revise our paradigm to avoid the perilous of a divided house. these words a house divided against itself cannot stand. must serve as a guidepost for both today and the future. search words are perpetual reminders of the deafening cries for freedom inclusion diversity. equity social justice and equality on our journey towards shared oneness call democracy. may these words a house divided against itself cannot stand. forever awaken us to the fragileness of our democracy. but never take root and the souls of our nation.
america the world is watching. therefore let us do as lincoln suggested. and elevate the condition of all people whether in ukraine africa asia the middle east or the americas. and afford to all and unfathered start and a fair chance in this race of life. you deserve it and so do i? thank you. may god bless these united states of america.
and that thank you very very much to dr. charlotte morris and you can see from the crowd how much they that comment. we do have one more history oriented. talk before we get back to some music. so i would like to welcome to the podium dr. frank smith. who is the director of the african-american african-american civil war museum here in washington, dc. dr. smith is a founding member of the student non-violent coordinating committee more house college back in the 1960s. and everyone here probably has heard of snake and it's one of its members the late congressman john lewis. frank smith has lived in washington dc since 1968 were among his many communities service roles. he served on the dc city council for four terms. here in this phd from the union institute in ohio he founded and
oh. thank you very much. my name is frank smith, and i'm the founding director. of the african-american civil war memorial here in washington, dc today is august 22nd 2022. and it's actually the day that we celebrated african americans said what memorial as founders day? because it was this date back in 1863. president created within the military something called the bureau of the united states colored troops. and it was the bureau of the united states called troops
rolled. will recruit train biff whack and then deploy 200,000 african americans soldiers in the civil war these soldiers were being brought into the union army. on the paragraph 8 of the emancipation proclamation which we refer to as the enforcement clause. now for those who are historians among us you know that these three actually amendments are the only the masturbation proclamation in the three monument three. a minimum is a follower would only three that have enforcement clauses in them. the enforcement clause of the emancipation proclamation was paragraph 8 and a paragraph 8 said persons of suitable condition. will be enlisted in the union army. so lincoln didn't just say all slaves are free. he also said persons of suitable condition will be enlisted in the union army and what and since most of the 3.9 million enslaved people african americans the south.
ah that meant basically he was going to arm the slaves. he gave the south 100 days to come back in the union or paragraph. eight would become law in january 1 1863 and then by by the time we come to may 22nd. the military had organized itself so what you see standing next to me now are the is a representation of what was the enforcement clause? of the emancipation proclamation of these men and women hadn't put on uniforms and walked out on these battlefields given their lives in these various battles congress never would have passed the 13th amendment. the 14th amendment the 15th amendment. well now by the time i came along in the 1960s. we probably would have ended slavery in the united states by then. but if it hadn't it by then we certainly would have would have ended by then. so i'm just 159th anniversary of the creation of the bureau of colored troops. i say good morning to all of you. i'm happy to be back here in front of the memorial as a young snake worker.
i came here in 1963 at the time. i was not one of the speakers. i was a field secretary. i was a foot soldier with the african americans that we might say. i was a private. with the student nonviolent coordinating committee and on that hot summer day. i was sitting on the one of those trees over there trying to find about 20 degrees of coolness. which was not possible back in those days. so every time i come here i get to i come a lot i get to go back to those days when dr. king made that famous. i have a dream speech here on this wall and standing at about in this same location. but today i stand to recognize 2009,145 african americans who fought in the war 150,000 of them were enslaved when the war started and just to put this in some kind of historical context slavery for those of you since we are sunday morning here at this memorial slavery has existed for years slavery is mentioned in the bible. everybody knows slavery is just a few years. but slavery had certain characteristics it only went for four or five years after a
period of time person regained their freedom in most cases you had to give them some land or something. it was called reparations to put them to get started out with a little money so they could get started. and so and then after at the end of this imperial enslavement a person regained all of their citizenship rights. so the last four period of time they got some kind of compensation at the end and then they regain their citizenship rights except american slavery was not like that. there was one other features of slavery in the bible, too. and that is once you've been enslaved you could never be a soldier. could be a citizen you could vote you can own land you get married do all those other things, but you cannot become a soldier. so make a not only found a way to harm these slaves. he did something. that was a historical. and that is he had to make soldiers out of them in order to save his pressure jewel of democracy here in the united states. and so i'm happy to represent those 200,000 soldiers who joined? who went out on the battlefields? they gave their lives they fought in battles and certain
places as fort wagner. port hudson, they fought in four pillow, you know about that they fought in nashville and petersburg and by the time we get to 1860 five 64 late 64 and 65 the army created something called the 25th army corps here in washington dc they bring regiments from all i'm sorry. they created in richmond, virginia petersburg area. they bring those soldiers there because they are probably lee trapped and richmond and this war is now about to be brought to a military close. and at the military closed they want to flash some of these african-american soldiers who have been involved now in battles that i mentioned before as a part of that and so many of those regiments were not only present there and petersburg but several of them chase probably lee from richmond to appomattox and one of those regiments engaged is him when he's tries to break out of there to try to rejoin johnson down in north carolina, and it's that when he
sees that large group of african-american soldiers that he realized that he can't win this war. the cost of war is over with now. he's outnumbered he's outgoing and now those able-bodied african americans there there that role does not in there they end up back in in richmond and eventually end up in a place called, galveston, texas on june 19th 1865 long after the war is over president. lincoln's have been killed. they've had a march and watch them to which these soldiers were not invited. and but they end up down in galveston, texas, which gives us our national holiday now that we know as juneteenth. and so we get juneteenth because president lincoln is his own words said let the emancipation go wherever the army goes. and so when granger arrived in galveston on june 19th, he was a little late getting there. it was june 19th the boy into the april. lincoln was killed in april that the big parade took place in may. it was june 19th. he was a little late getting there, but when he did arrive.
the people in galveston shouted hallelujah they were glad to see this army and lincoln and and granger had with him. 6,000 african american soldiers who had been a part of that march from richmond to to to to have automatics and now we're in galveston wiping up the last of the terrorists who are now rating back and forth for cross these borders. so we're happy to pay tribute to president lincoln. he's our president. he gave us a chance to fight for our freedom and we joined up in large numbers. we gave our lives and higher numbers. we came home to enjoy the great bounty of those benefits of those amendments you all know this for during a period of reconstruction and we had to fight for those rights all over again in the 1960s and that proved something else that we all have to remember as african americans. you can win these rights. lose them. and after when i'm all over again. we won these rights in the civil war people were getting elected office in mississippi and alabama, georgia. they were serving in office by
the time we get i get to mississippi in 1960. you lost those rights and now we got to win them all over again, and it looks like we're always having to fight for those rights here in the united states, but we were up to the battle because we've seen some great things happen. we've seen some african americans get elected one african american get elected president united states african americans are enrolled in college and record numbers here in the united states. there's over three million african americans enrolled in college here in the united states. we've seen some great things happen here and we intend to stay on the battlefield and to continue to work try to make real the of president abraham lincoln. that this would be a country where all people are created equal and are doubt by. creator with with with all rights and privilege. so thank you very much on behalf of the bureau of the united states called the troops and the african-american civil war museum. congratulations to all of you. thank god for the united states of america and for president abraham lincoln.
you might want to hear some music. you've already had the pleasure of listening to our next guest. when she's sang the national anthem. so felicia curry is familiar to many many of us and the dc area. she starred and received critical acclaim in many stage productions. she's received many recognitions for work. including the prestigious helen hayes award for those people
that live in this area. you've no doubt seeing her as the host of weta arts the local pbs station, which is local only and name only. it's known across the country. she's currently starring in our town. with the shakespeare theater company and in fact not long after this ends, she'll be racing downtown to star in a two o'clock performance. so we're very happy that she was able to come here. felicia is also an associate artist at forge theater. which i'm sure everybody recognizes the place that abraham lincoln was assassinated. this past fall. she starred as marian anderson in the play my lord what a night. which was about marian anderson staying with? one of my favorite guys albert einstein in princeton when she
went there for a concert and was refused the ability to stay at the local. hotel so she stayed with albert einstein and they became good friends. so it's with great pleasure that i welcome again to the microphone felicia curry who will sing from one of the songs that marian anderson sang on these steps in 1939. she'll be back in a little bit to sing a song that i'm sure everybody will remember but this is one of the spirituals that was sung by marian henderson. dream trying to make heaven my
the day you've heard it words from lincoln off and on from our different speakers and as president lincoln group of the district of columbia. i can i can say that you can never hear too many words from lincoln. so we'll have some more for you. and in fact, we have a special honor of having stephen lang. speak some of the words from lincoln and i first met stephen. and statuary hall in the national capital in 2015 for the second inaugural event in which he read lincoln's second inaugural? but steven is a star of stage and screen and television and he has many dozens of credits and all of those venues. he's also an author. a producer a writer and has won a tony award nomination and won the saturn award for best
supporting actor. for a little movie that came out in 2009 called avatar. which is probably where most people have seen him. um, and if like to avatar. you're in luck because there's a sequel to avatar coming out later this year after all of these years. there's a sequel called avatar the way. of water it'll come out and he will again star as a ruthless kernel miles courage. so he's the bad guy in the movie if you haven't seen the movie. but he's good bad guy. but civil war buffs know that stephen lang is himself a civil war buff. and he's also known for roles such as major general george pickett in the movie gettysburg. and as confederate general thomas stonewall jackson in god's in generals and i saw somebody with a copy of god's generals that was getting it signed earlier today.
so we're very happy to have him here today. so please welcome. stephen lang when 50,000 people gathered here. 100 years ago to dedicate this memorial they heard speeches from an american president from a former president. and from the head of a historically black land-grant college in alabama founded under a loss signed by the man honored in this magnificent building abraham lincoln yet as we know it was an imperfect. dedication but one thing it was a segregated one it would take marian anderson. dr. martin luther king to write that wrong for memorial and
indeed for this nation, but for now i'll take you back. may 1922 century ago this month when americans even americans denied the full promise of lincoln's new birth of freedom. could hear and inside this building they could read. the words that at least promised a more perfect union where all people as lincoln put it have the right to an equal chance in the race of life. on that hot memorial day organizers called on a poet to consecrate this building far above their power to exalt lincoln in prose. the opportunity to write and recite a poem on dedication day had attracted 250 entries in what may have been the largest
poetry competition ever held up to that time and our winner was a 70 year old man, edwin markham from oregon. he wrote verses that one critic hailed as the greatest poem ever written on the immortal martyr and the greatest that ever will be written. well. you can judge for yourself whether markham surpassed whitman. and melville and sandberg and langston hughes. so here are the closing lines of edwin. markham's poem lincoln the man of the people. up from the log cabin to the capitol one fire was on his spirit one resolve. to send a keen acts to the root of wrong. clearing a freeway for the feet of god. the eyes of conscience testing every stroke to make his deed.
the measure of a man he built the rail pile as he built the state. pouring his spending strength through every blow the grip that swung the ax in illinois was on the pen that said a people free. so came the captain with his mighty heart. and when the judgment thunders split the house wrenching the rafters from their ancient rest. he held the ridge pole up. and spiked again the rafters of the home. he held his place. held the long purpose like a growing tree held on. through blame and faltered not at praise. and when he fell in whirlwind he
went down as when a lordly cedar green with bows goes down with a great shout upon the hills. and leaves alone some place. against the sky so spoke edwin markham but visitors that day pilgrims to this spot ever since could find some of the most sublime poetry ever written in size permanently into the very walls behind me then. as now framing their author surrounding the great statue that looks down on us from its chair of state. on november 19 1863 this is what he said. for score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation
conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. now we are engaged in a great civil war. testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. we are met. on a great battlefield of that war we have come. to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who hear gave their lives that that nation might live. it is all together fitting and proper we should do this. but in a larger sense we cannot dedicate. we cannot consecrate. we cannot hallow this ground.
the brave men living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. the world will little note no long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. it is for us the living rather. to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far? so nobly advanced it is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. that from these on a dead we take increased devotion. to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. that we hear highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.
that this nation under god shall have a new birth of freedom. and that government of the people by the people? for the people shall not perish from the earth. and words from the second inaugural on march 4th 18 5 fondly do we hope? fervently do we pray? that the mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away yet. if god wills it. continue until all the wealth. piled by the bongsman's 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword as was said 3,000 years ago so still it must be said the judgments of the lord
are true and righteous altogether. with malice toward none. with charity for all with firmness in the right as god gives us to see the right. let us strive on. to finish the work we are in. to bind up the nation's wounds. to care for him who shall have borne the battle. and for his widow and his orphan. to do all which may achieve. and cherish adjust and lasting peace among ourselves. and with all nations difficult it's impossible. to follow those magnificent words, but i will close by reading the brief and very
beautiful epigraph that new york newspaper man with very little advanced noticed created. for the plaque that to this day still greets us as we approach. lincoln enthroned it further reminds us. that in the greatest shrines to freedom great writing blends with great art and great architecture to achieve. perfection in this temple in this temple as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the union. the memory of abraham lincoln is enshrined forever. thank you.
everybody here recognized first song that felicia curry sang as america. although most of us probably know it as my country tears t and the battle hymn of the republic we will hear again from the marine bass band after we're finished. they will play us out. so when they play again you can thank them and but that will be time for you to get up and and get and leave. but were almost finished. i know everybody's seeing out here. it's very hot. and we've had the look of having the sun come out just in time for the beginning of our of our
program. so we we've heard some some words from lincoln today and stephen lang's powerful presentation of the how the words that are etched into the building behind us. but i figure we'll close with just a few more. of abraham lincoln's words that i've adapted from his december 1862 annual message to congress. this is effectively the state of the union. and he wrote this it was written not spoken written a month before he signed into law the final emancipation proclamation. and in a sense it's a call to action. so we can succeed only by concert. it is not can any of us imagine better? but can we all do better? the dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate for the stormy present.
the occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise. with that occasion as our case is new. so must we think anew and act anew. we must enthrall ourselves and then we shall save our country. fellow citizens we cannot escape history. we will be remembered in spite of ourselves the fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor. or dishonor to the latest generation we say we are for the union. the world will not forget that we say this. where there are with our actions? we shall nobly save. or mainly lose the last best. hope of earth now i want to thank all of our participants. the president's own united
states marine band brass quintet national park service director chuck sams, jeffrey burden reverend, dr. sarah johnson harold holzer dr. edna green medford, dr. charlotte morris, dr. frank smith. felicia curry and stephen lang please give a big round of applause to our participants today. i also want to thank our organizers and contributors starting with the national park service. and director truck sam's i especially want to personally thank jamie boyle of the national park service for making all of this possible and doing her best to make my job easier. and she's in the back there if you want to wave.
we have to thank the lincoln forum for co-sponsoring this event with us. especially as chairman harold holder i want to thank roberta and leiden schwartzenber who couldn't be with us today, but who provided much of the underwriting for the program today? and as president of the lincoln group of the district of columbia, i would probably be stoned if i didn't think all of the board all of the members and all of the volunteers of the lincoln group of the district of columbia who have worked tirelessly over the last year to help bring this program to you today. so, please thank them. so finally i want to thank all of you in the audience today.
you have all participated and once one of a kind of event that we literally waited 100 years to do just so all you could be present. so i want to thank all of you i want to thank the tuskegee alumni for for coming here and robert rousamoten's descendants for being here. now, this is washington and at washington. everyone is always looking for a chance for a photo op. so what we're going to do is we're going to have we're going to gather our speakers and performers and our special guests and line up on the steps behind me and everyone in the audience. anyone you can pull out of the reflecting pool. anyone you want to bring going up go up behind us and line up on the steps and we'll get a grand photo and we will put it in our on our website linkonian.org and you can
download it and share it with all your friends and tell everybody how they you were here for this one time event. so thank you all and please join us behind us and round of applause one more time for the president's own marine band. the hundred year dedication of the lincoln mario we are joined by author and abraham harold holzer lincoln to -- joined by author and lincoln expert harold holzer to discuss. what sets it apart? guest: one is just the beauty, the building and the magnificence of the