Abraham Lincoln was a man of profound human compassion.
His farewell address to the people of Springfield, Ill., in 1861:
“My friends, no one not in my situation, can appreciate my feelings of sadness at this parting. To this place and the kindness of these people, I owe everything.
“Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave not knowing when or whether ever I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail. Trusting in Him, who can go with me and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will be well.
“To God’s care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.”
Note: An extemporaneous speech on Feb. 11, 1861. Lincoln stood in the rain on the rear platform of his private railcar and spoke to the people among whom he lived, as he was leaving for Washington, D.C., and his inauguration as the 16th president of the United States. His birthday was the next day, Feb. 12.
Leo Tolstoy, a European (1828-1910), one of the greatest thinkers and writers of that time, said it best: “Lincoln’s supremacy expresses itself altogether in his peculiar oral power and in the greatness of his character.”
Other than our lord, Jesus Christ, he is the benchmark by which we can judge a person.
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on Good Friday, the same day commemorating the crucifixion of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ, April 14, 1865. He was fully spiritually aware that his life would likely be taken while he was still in office. As a father, he would have abhorred the destruction of expectant human life by willful abortion for reason of mere convenience. Every lawyer, physician, public official and each man and woman should follow his moral lead.
He would have concurred that a newspaper’s responsibility is not only to inform but also to educate.
Vincent T. LoCoco