Abraham Lincoln Museum
Yesterday my family and I made our annual pilgrimage down to Springfield to visit the Lincoln Museum and go to the Lincoln Tomb to say prayers for the repose of the souls of Lincoln and his family. A few observations:
1. Weather: Illinois has been experiencing one of the coolest Julys on record. Yesterday the high was 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about 15 degrees below what we often experience at this time of year. Very pleasant weather for walking about downtown Springfield.
2. Officiousness-My family and I renewed our membership in the Lincoln Museum Association for $70.00. That is pricier than if we had to pay for tickets but I like to encourage the Museum with funds, especially as I view the enjoyment of the kids who come there to see the Lincoln exhibits. Right after we did that a guard stopped us as we were entering the main part of the museum and asked to examine my wife’s purse. He saw that she had gum and mints and told us she would have to put the gum and mints in a locker before we could enter since no food and drink could be brought in. We have been coming to the museum since 2006, after it opened in 2005, and this had never happened to us before. It was obvious to me that the young man was taking a reasonable rule and making it absurd. We complied, although the lawyer part of me wanted to make an issue of it. However, I did not want to get the young guard into trouble, which I assume will happen swiftly enough if this is how he is treating all female patrons. I decided to let it be by someone else’s hand and I was not going to mar our day with a confrontation.
3. Decisions-The museum was wonderful as always. The standout for me, as usual, was Lincoln standing behind his desk, looking at the draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, as shadows behind him gave him conflicting advice about whether to emancipate the slaves. Great decisions are always easy unless you are the one making them.
On Wednesday my family and I made our annual trip to Springfield to see the Lincoln sites and pray at Lincoln’s tomb for the repose of the souls of Lincoln and his family. A few observations:
1. Heat: The phrase hotter than blazes is trite but it was very descriptive for the triple digit day. Walking outside was a trying experience with the heat and humidity. Illinois is usually green and lush this time of year, the towns and cities of Central Illinois being isolated islands in an endless green sea of corn and soybeans. Due to the drought, much of Illinois looks yellow and dead, with most crops under severe stress. Not good.
2. Time is a River: One of the reasons why I enjoy annual rituals like the drive to Springfield to see the Lincoln sites, is that they are a good way to mark the passage of time. My wife and I began our trips when we were mid-twenties newly weds. This year our sons will be 21 in September, and our son Donald will be starting his junior year at the University of Illinois. Our “baby-girl” will be a senior in high school this year, and we are in the midst of the college search with her. Fortunately, my bride and I are not getting any older, or such reflections might take a turn to the melancholic!
3. Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation: This year is the 150th year of the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. As in past years what moved me most at the Lincoln Museum was an exhibit showing Lincoln standing at his desk staring at a draft of the Proclamation, as shadows behind him representing historical figures give him contradictory advice: predicting doom or salvation for the Union if the Emancipation Proclamation is issued. I have never seen anything which so neatly encapsulates the loneliness of someone making a huge decision for his nation.
4. Assassination: Each year I spot something new at the museum. In the room which represents the laying in state of Lincoln’s coffin, I spotted this inscription on the top of the ceiling of this room, a quotation from a Lincoln speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on February 22, 1861: But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it. Continue reading
Well, it is time again in the McClarey household for our mini three day July vacation. (We take a week off in June and August.) Today we make our annual pilgrimage down to Springfield to the Lincoln sites. We say a prayer at the tomb of Mr. Lincoln for the repose of his soul and the souls of his wife and children. All of Lincoln’s immediate family are buried there except Robert Lincoln, a Civil War veteran, who is buried in Arlington.
In July I always take a three day mini vacation with my family. Since it opened in 2005, one of our destinations is the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois, adjacent to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Yesterday we traveled down to the Museum for our latest dose of Lincolnia. Continue reading