May 30, marks the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial. It officially opened on the National Mall on May 30, 1922. The iconic temple is built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. A bastion of hope in difficult times.
Lincoln is the one who saved the Union, and the memory of republican Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War and succeeded in preserving the Union, abolishing slavery, bolstering the federal government, and modernizing the U.S economy. He was assassinated in 1865.
This is the place Martin Luther King Jr. gave his «I have a dream» speech in 1963, electrifying the nation and inspiring generations. This is also the place contralto Marian Anderson sang in 1939 to a crowd of about 75,000 after the Daughters of the American Revolution denied her request to rent facilities at Constitution Hall.
Now, 100 years after the opening, the troubles in the U.S remain. Moscow is once again an enemy. Inflation is back. Crime and violence are back. The pandemic is still a plague, and climate change is a big challenge.
Lincoln didn`t deal with this kind of problem. I don`t think he imagined some of that will come either. But what he was dealing with was slavery, racism, and civil war. 150 years later, the United States of America is still struggling with hate, violence, and racism.
It feels like the U.S is deeply divided, and people are worried about the future. More than ever before. Youthful optimism is plummeting, and pessimism is at a high level. But what the U.S citizens have left is the Lincoln memorial and hope.
Lincoln had hope, and he didn`t give up. So shouldn`t people today. People will travel to D.C and visit Lincoln. Especially this year. Maybe some will find wonderment and insight. On the south chamber wall are these words from the Gettysburg Address:
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us ~ that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion ~ that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain ~ that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom ~ and that government of the people by the people for the people shall not perish from the earth.
This durable memorial is born of crisis and war, and it is a bastion of hope.