As the nation he once saved endures a troubling new period of division and discord, Abraham Lincoln seems, more than ever, a guide to restoring what he called “the better angels of our nature.” He was the best of us: Honest Abe, Father Abraham, author of the Emancipation Proclamation, Savior of his Country, Martyr of Liberty—and in his unique combination of humor and sadness, not to mention self-educated wisdom, became one of the great characters this country ever produced.
Amidst the greatest crisis in our history, the Civil War, Lincoln emerged from the frontier to save our democracy and rid it of its greatest hypocrisy: slavery. And in the end, he all but gave his life that the nation might live.
Alone among our leaders, Lincoln not only lived the American dream; he also gave timeless expression to its noblest ideals in some of the greatest prose ever crafted. No wonder modern presidents of both parties have embraced him as a touchstone, while writers like Harriet Beecher Stowe and Leo Tolstoy have admired his enormous gifts. Generations of historians have consistently ranked him the greatest chief executive in our history.
We should never lose sight of his inspiring life and words, or stop working together both to sustain Lincoln’s place in the American pantheon and live up to his aspirations for our collective future.
The Foundation’s role in promoting these goals deserves our admiration and support.
In evoking a “new birth of freedom” based on government of, by, and for the people, Abraham Lincoln saw an American future based on “the principle of the equal rights” of all. That is why his enduring spirit has long animated our national experience, and continues to serve as a beacon for our dreams.
Lincoln once called freedom “the last, best hope of earth.” To paraphrase what he said in that same message, by honoring him we do honor to ourselves.
I encourage you to make your gift to the Foundation’s 2021 Annual Fund today. Together we can preserve Lincoln’s legacy and goal of a better future for all people.