Today marks the 201st anniversary of the birth of the greatest Republican president in American history. While George Washington’s leadership ensured that our nation survived its birth pangs, Lincoln held it together when it faced its most difficult crisis since its inception. As James M. McPherson wrote in Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief: “Not only Lincoln’s success or failure as president but also the very survival of the United States depended on how he performed his duties as commander in chief.”
It is impossible in the short space of a blog post to detail Lincoln’s many accomplishments. And while that great men delivered a number of memorable speeches and offered numerous clever quips, he was also a great decision maker and story-teller. It seems a lot of great Americans had that in common. Benjamin Franklin and Ronald Reagan also loved to spin a yarn to entertain their audiences or to illustrate a point.
Let us today remember this man for his cool head during our nation’s most challenging crisis. He acted slowly, deliberately, guided by a set of principles rooted in Scripture and the American tradition. He performed masterfully a commander in chief.
May he always serve as an inspiration to all of us–and our nation.