Freedom and Liberty

During my trips to the Pentagon, I would take the time to run along the National Mall in Washington D.C. and soak in American History. My running route usually started in the Constitution Gardens at the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence Memorial. It was a great place to start my run through history. It reminded me of the beginning journey to Freedom and Liberty and the sacrifice each of these signers ended up making for the Founding of America.

From the Constitution Gardens I would run to the WWII memorial then to D.C. War Memorial, to the Korean War Memorial, and over to the Vietnam Veterans memorial. Each of the Memorials along the run reminds me of the Service and the Sacrifice of the men and women, the Sons and Daughters of America, made to found and keep Country free.

I would finish my run at the Lincoln Memorial and usually spend time reading the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address.

President Lincoln, in my opinion, showed enormous grace under pressure as a President to preserve Freedom and Liberty. He was also a great example of how to use courage, persistence, perseverance, resilience, and forgiveness as a leader and in your personal life.

First, he had courage to stand up for what he believed was right concerning the Union of the States and the U.S. Constitution. He was faced with an incredible challenge of preserving the United States when elected President. In his first inaugural address, President Lincoln argued that the Constitution was binding to all States and could only be dissolved unanimously by all the States. He also stated that based on the Oath of the President he was solemnly bound to preserve, protect, and defend the Union of the United States.

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Second, President Lincoln, as he eloquently stated in his Gettysburg Address, had the persistence and perseverance to keep fighting for what he believed was right. He made sure that those who fought, bled, and died were not forgotten and the fight would continue until the Union was united once again.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 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.”

Finally, President Lincoln displayed resilience and forgiveness after the issue was resolved. The Nation needed to move forward as one people and not enemies.

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.

President Lincoln displayed indispensable moral courage when he stood for Freedom and Liberty. Each of us could learn a valuable lesson when it comes to courage and forgiveness.

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