Sunday, February 12, 2012

Telling Lincoln about Lincoln


One of these days, if his daddy doesn't beat me to it, I will tell Lincoln James Harned all about his namesake.

My best friend, Dean, and his wife, Allison, are having a baby boy. With a little luck, he might even be born on March 13, my birthday.

A group of friends held the Harneds a baby shower this afternoon, coincidentally and appropriately Abraham Lincoln's 203rd birthday. It was quite nice. Class act, all the way.

Dean is a history buff, like me, and teaches it quite well to high school students. Like me, one of his heroes is our nation's 16th president.

I won't go into all the reasons. You know them. Sometimes I think Lincoln's humanity, his best characteristic, has been lost in modern-day politics and post-assassination martyrdom.

And yet, he's there, if you look. I will tell baby Lincoln about his namesake's humble origins in Kentucky, about his self-education, about his rise in Republican circles, about his debates with Douglas, about his shrewd political prowess, about the American scripture he crafted one November in Pennsylvania.

I will tell him that there are few heroes in this life, but that his namesake is one.

That is, if his daddy doesn't beat me to it...

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