“The Lincoln Memorial” By Ralph Henry Gabriel
The Lincoln Memorial was erected in Potomac Park, Washington D.C., dedicated to the memory of Abraham Lincoln. Construction work began on Lincoln’s birthday in 1914. It is in the general form of a classic Greek temple, having one large enclosed hall of oblong shape which is surrounded by a Doric colonnade. In it is a large seated statue of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French.
The face of Lincoln has been called the kindest and most striking face in the world. The story is told of how one little boy wanted to climb up the statue of Lincoln and rest in his arms to hear him speak, so sure he was that Lincoln was a kind man.
Read to get an insight into the greatness of Lincoln. Aim also to find out if his memorial matches his character:
What is it that Americans worship when they stand, uncovered before that great, silent figure? For worship they do, more sincerely many of them, than when they occupy their pews in church. They do reverence, if one may hazard an analysis of those inarticulate emotions which put an end to loud talk and to boisterous conduct, to a personification of the American democratic faith. The phenomenon of Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson once remarked, makes it possible to believe in democracy. he rose, without the aid of a patron, from the poverty of the open-faced camp on Pidgeon Creek to more than the White House. He wielded such power as no previous President had ever known. Mighty armies of volunteers marched at his command to fight for the Union and the freedom of men. He led his people to a righteous victory. But triumph did not make him Caesar. Through all the years in which he sat in the seats of the mighty he remained the sincere, humane and humble democrat. His career was the fulfillment of the romantic democratic vision; it was Alladin’s dream come true. He founded his life on the Constitution and on its fundamental moral law. In striking the irons from the slave he gave new meaning to the doctrine of the free individual. He not only saved the Union; he expressed in unforgettable words the mission of democracy and of America. They are written on the walls of his temple: “With malice toward none; with clarity for all; with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive 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 a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.”
The brooding Lincoln who sits in the Memorial in Washington is first among the folk-heroes of the American people. He personifies that faith upon which the Republic rests.