Crowd celebrates centennial of historic Lincoln Memorial
Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2011 8:01 pm
HODGENVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Rabbi Joseph Rapport opened a prayer by saying five score years ago the first memorial to President Abraham Lincoln was created.
The structure loomed behind the man as he led a prayer beginning a ceremony observing the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial Monday at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park near Hodgenville.
Rapport represented a temple in Louisville, which was home to the rabbi who took part in the memorial’s dedication 100 years ago. A priest closed the ceremony, representing a church that also had participated in the dedication.
Rapport said the memorial is a symbol of the origins of a president who faced great difficulties and people’s desire to remember him. “What was for them still a memory has become for us our history,” he said.
The ceremony included representatives from state government, including Gov. Steve Beshear, and the entire fourth grade from Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Hodgenville, which is studying state history.
Teacher Jackie Harley hoped students will remember being at the memorial during the centennial and being part of that step in history.
State Rep. Michael Meredith said he was glad the class came. “Our history is only our history if we share it with the next generation,” he said.
Meredith said he was glad the memorial commemorates a man who was a strong leader in dealing with some of the same issues that government officials still deal with today, such as states’ rights.
“The history of our 16th president is the history of a nation,” he said.
Marcheta Sparrow, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet secretary, said she was impressed by the hard work of Kentucky residents to preserve Lincoln’s memory in a simple and almost hallowed way.
“I think that is a true and fitting tribute to President Lincoln,” she said. Published in The Messenger 11.17.11