Today is a birthday worthy of remembering, a day that should and hopefully be celebrated by all old enough to remember Abraham Lincoln a president that stood up and fought a war in which he believed and knew was right. A war that was intended to make all men free, it was the start of something big. How sad it is that some of the young today hardly recognize his name. Many that are under the age of forty or fifty do not watch the news or listen to the historians and hardly recognize his name. There is something to be said about being called “old folks”we have a since of pride and appreciation for what our country stands for today and what it had to go through to get here. Lincoln alone did not succeed by himself but his foresight and determination paved the way for all men to be equal and free. I wonder how many if any grade schools today celebrate his birthday or even mention his name the way we use to do. I still to this day recall a song that we sang in the second grade, and I still sing it for any child that happens to be around when this great day is here.
“A penny is a common site so round and plain so seldom bright And yet it holds a shinning light from Lincoln’s face.
A penny is not much I hear though children hold it very dear For looking from it kind and clear is Lincoln’s face”.
Several years ago I met a young man from Illinois who happened to be a grade school teacher. He never heard the song before and was surprised knowing Lincoln had come from his state. He said he was going to make an effort to have it introduced in the schools. I never heard whether he actually succeeded or not.
Songs about the Civil War were popular in my day, my father use to sing them to me every night when he got home from work. I remember them clearly “John Brown’s body lies a molding the grave, Then there was “I remember the night that old Ned died and the tears on his face ran like rain for he knew when they buried him into the ground that they’d never see his likes again, lay down the shovel and the hoe hang up the fiddle and the bow for there’s no more work for dear old Ned for he’s gone where the old Darkies go”.
I hope this year it will mean that all men are created equal if nothing else, and that we have endured .