Honoring an American Original

04 Apr 2024 9:58 AM | Therese Orr (Administrator)

This article originally appeared in the pages of the Gettysburg Times, February of 2024. It was penned by Wendy Allen of the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania, in the hopes of sharing the work the Fellowship does.

On Sunday, February 12, 1809, in a one-room log cabin about 18 by 16 feet, with a dirt floor, one window, one door, and a small fireplace, Nancy Hanks Lincoln lay close to the fire on her bed of cornhusks and bearskins. The family, in the words of Carl Sandburg, "welcomed into a world of battle and blood, of whispering dreams and wistful dust, a new child, a boy." He was named Abraham after his grandfather.

To honor President Abraham Lincoln’s 215th birthday, the Lincoln Fellowship hosted over 70 preschoolers with a tour of the David Wills Home provided by Gettysburg National Military Park rangers. The children serenaded the “Return Visit” statue with “Happy Birthday.” They also met mounted police officers and (GNMP) rangers and then were treated to celebratory cupcakes at the students’ respective preschools following the ceremony.

Bugler signup starting on March 15th signals the upcoming 8th season of One Hundred Nights of Taps, Gettysburg. Visitors to Gettysburg National Cemetery can experience the sounding of Taps every evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The opening ceremony will be on Memorial Day, May 27, at 7 p.m. The distinguished retired United States Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Burne will be the keynote speaker.

Every evening, a Union soldier buried in Soldiers' National Cemetery is honored through the Taps program. This soldier is a representation of all the soldiers buried in the cemetery. This year's commemorative coin bears the image of 2nd Lt. Edmund Dascomb, Co. G, 2nd N.H. Vols. He was a student from Tufts College, who was killed during the battle on July 2, 1863, when the Confederate forces overran the 2nd New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry at the Joseph Sherfy Peach Orchard. The regiment lost 190 of its 354 officers and men, and Lt. Dascomb was one of them.
We are planning the 161th Dedication Day ceremony on November 19th. We can share that this year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Craig L. Symonds. He won the Pritzker Military Museum & Library’s 2023 Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. In 2009 he shared the Lincoln Prize with James M. McPherson. Dr. Symonds is Professor Emeritus of History at the United States Naval Academy, where he taught for thirty years, including a four-year term as History Department Chair, and is the author of seventeen books.

As we approach the 250th birthday of America, we cannot forget that Lincoln was the natural outgrowth of the newly designed free institutions (then only afforded to its white citizens) that preceded him, e.g., democracy, constitutional government, individual rights, market economics, religious freedom and tolerance, and freedom of thought and inquiry. His character and confidence could never have been fully developed amid the deep-rooted, limited social constraints of the European society of his times. He is an original. America forges originals. It is one of many reasons this country is so great and celebrated. The Lincoln Fellowship is committed to creating meaningful events that honor the extraordinary contributions of this amazing American original.

Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)3 Organization
P. O. Box 3372, Gettysburg, PA  17325

Email:  lincolnfellowshipofpa@gmail.com

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