Reflecting On Abraham Lincoln At Ford’s Theater

It goes without saying spending any amount of time at Ford’s Theater will sweep a visitor back in time.  The museum that has been created about the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln is very well done. There is the vest and great coat that Lincoln wore at the time he was shot.  There is also the exact gun used in the attack.  One of the pillows discolored with the president’s blood and time is on display.  There is no way to hurry along through the exhibits as they almost demand to be not only viewed but pondered.

If there was any reason to grin it would be the detail one can find about the reasons for the Civil War being fought located only a few blocks from the White House.  Yet as we know some there are not sure why the national calamity came about.  Might I suggest a stroll to Ford’s Theater to find out the causes of the conflict?

We had tickets to see the Broadway show Ragtime containing a message from a remarkable script which is needed to be heard in this nation now more than ever.   While James had bought us tickets  to not only be in the front row, but more importantly below the presidential box where Lincoln sat on Good Friday 1865, meant that I had time to sit and think.   During the performance I found myself looking up and pondering about that night and the significance it meant for a nation on the cusp of reconstruction.    How our national story would be so different had Andrew Johnson not been allowed to ever sit alone in the White House.

There comes with each stop in Washington where Lincoln is memorialized or recalled for some historical event the deep recognition of his importance to our story that I contend is more central than any other figure.   It was Lincoln who knew the moral calling of his time and the necessity of keeping the Union whole that allowed him to let a war rage with horrific numbers of killed and injured.  He was a master political tactician and military strategist.   If ever there was an essential leader in this nation it was Lincoln.   What George Washington helped create Lincoln made sure would survive.

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