Today, Feb. 20, is Presidents’ Day 2023. On this holiday, it seems appropriate to look to the advice of the men it celebrates, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and see how that advice is still relevant for our own time. It is amazing how prophetic Washington and Lincoln were, and how, in some ways, though we have changed so much since their eras, America still suffers from some of the same weaknesses and problems as it always did.
Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg Address is one of the most iconic speeches in the English language, but in the modern era of wokeness and historical ignorance, there are too many Americans who have forgotten Lincoln’s call at the Gettysburg Union cemetery for living Americans to take up the cause of freedom and fight for what their fellows died for:
“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 here gave the last full measure of devotion…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
As for George Washington, his Farewell Addressupon preparing to resign from the Presidency in 1796 is a source of wisdom from the Father of our Country. Washington gives a great deal of very excellent advice. But in light of record low numbers of actively religious Americans, particularly those practicing a Judeo-Christian religion, I wanted to share Washington’s reminders that religion and morality are absolutely vital to keep America just and free:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”
It would be well if Americans heeded Washington’s and Lincoln’s advice, still so relevant today.
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