Abraham Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial was built to honor 16th President Abraham Lincoln.
The Lincoln Monument Association was incorporated by the United States Congress
in March 1867 to build a memorial to Lincoln. A site was not chosen until 1901,
in an area that was then swampland. Congress formally authorized the memorial
on February 9, 1911, and the first stone was put into place on Lincoln's birthday,
February 12, 1914.
The monument was dedicated by Chief Justice William Howard Taft on May 30, 1922,
a ceremony attended by Lincoln's only surviving child, Robert Todd Lincoln.
The focus of the memorial is the sculpture of Lincoln, seated. Beneath his hands,
the Roman fasces, symbols of the authority of the Republic, are sculpted in
relief on the seat.
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is inscribed on the south wall, probably one of the
most famous political speech every made. Lincoln was not the featured speaker and did
not give his speech until late in the afternoon. His speech was one of the shortest
ones made that day, lasting only several minuets, but is the most remembered.
" Four 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 here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is
altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate�we can not consecrate�we can not
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, nor 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
honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the
last full measure of devotion�that we here 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. "
On the wall behind the statue, visible over the statue's head, is this dedication:
IN THIS TEMPLE
AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION
THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
IS ENSHRINED FOREVER
For more information, see link below
NPS Lincoln Memorial Home Page
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