To the editor:
The Emancipation Proclamation was a logical extension of Old Abe’s sense of justice and commitment to the “proposition that all men are created equal.” Abraham Lincoln did more for America than any other American. Yet he has been relegated to “Presidents Day.” His life, deeds and sacrifice for the nation deserve better.
Abe was born in a log cabin, taught himself to read, write and cipher. His sense of humor and willingness to laugh at himself made him the most successful American of the 19th century. He successfully fought for and ensured the continuation of American democracy. Abe declared that slavery was founded on both injustice and bad policy, and that he hated it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself.
Abe clearly saw the darkening clouds of civil war. He knew that compromise had its place in achieving political goals. However, there was no compromise when recognizing the right for all Americans to be free: “I believe this government cannot endure permanent half slave and half free.”
Lincoln suffered greatly as the commander-in-chief. He had to save the Union, find a fighter to carry out the destruction of Robert E. Lee’s army and seek to ensure compassion and justice in the implementation of Reconstruction. Lincoln’s assassination assured a hundred years of racial struggle and cultural conflict.
I truly resent our collective acceptance of Abe Lincoln as just another president. There simply is no other president, save for George Washington, deserving of a national holiday — a day to renew our commitment to freedom.