Wednesday, January 10, 2007

King Memorial – Nestled Between Lincoln and Jefferson – a Monument to American Idealism

On November 19th, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln stood on the site of where 7,500 war dead lay still. Speaking briefly but eloquently, Lincoln invoked the principles of equality upon which this nation was founded -- principles articulated by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence 87 years before -- and successfully redefined the Civil War as a war to make those principles true for all men. Henceforth, this nation would be dedicated to “a new birth of freedom.”
One hundred years after Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and appealed to those same founding principles of equality for all men. King began one of the greatest speeches in American history referencing Lincoln’s remarks at Gettysburg and then citing the words of Jefferson. The bloodline of American idealism -- not drippy utopianism, but a sober belief in the principles of equality and objective truth -- began with Jefferson, ran through Lincoln and coursed through King. It is only proper then that the memorial currently being built on the mall in Washington D.C. would be placed between the monuments of these other great men.
That is, of course, if and when it is completed. We are still $30 million short of the $100 million needed to complete and maintain the monument.
By: Joseph C. Phillips,

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