It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor. —George Washington
Abraham Lincoln gave his second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865, as the Civil War was raging. He said, “Fondly do we hope — fervently do we pray — that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.”
Lincoln’s next paragraph is especially appropriate for Veterans Day:
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
When President Lincoln finished his classic oration, he reportedly kissed the Bible and left the platform. He was assassinated the next month.
The freedoms we enjoy in this country did not come without sacrifice. The lady who stands on Liberty Island may be holding a tarnished lamp but the hope she stands for remains. The hearts of every American who thanks God each day for the greatness of America will keep that torch burning brightly. When the last soul falls to death and there is no one left to stand up for freedom for all, then the light will fade into darkness.
Here is hoping that day never comes.