At the corner of Washington and Lincoln streets- I’m reminded of what we’ve lost

B. Nash in Mount Clemens, Michigan


When I was a kid attending Detroit public schools in the 1960’s-I remember seeing the pictures of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington in the classrooms.  They were there because our society held them in high esteem. They were our examples of lives well-lived. They were the models that we as students were to look to. That was as it should be. Both men were two of the greatest men of history. No one questioned their places of honor as given them. Lincoln’s hero, by the way, was George Washington. Lincoln had read the biography of Washington by Parson Weems as a young man.  I think his admiration for Washington remained with him his entire life-and influenced his decisions as president.

The world has changed. As I stand at the corner of Washington and Lincoln streets in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, I realize these two men are much forgotten by many. If not forgotten, they are thought of in negative terms. We’re all lost something important.  When Lincoln and Washington were once looked to as heroes to be revered-now they are ignored and/or disdained.  These men did so much for our country and the world. I’m reminded of what we’ve lost when popular entertainers are more thought of than Lincoln and Washington. When sports figures hold “hero” status rather than these two presidents-we’re in trouble. When a young person can’t recite the Gettysburg Address but can voice all the words to a rap song-something has gone terrible wrong. The deeds and accomplishments of Washington and Lincoln are not only forgotten but I fear they are not even being taught anymore. Lincoln once made a statement that if we were to ever lose our country-it would come from within- not from without. His words have are becoming realized.

There is hope. Our country is not fully gone. There are still those who love it, defend it, and would die for it. The history must not be forgotten. The truth must be proclaimed-there is a lot of mistruth out there. It begins with the family unit. Parents need to make sure the schools are teaching history-American history-not revisionism. At least, the truth can be taught at home if not at school.  Patriotism must be attended to. Organizations that support the principles cherished by Washington and Lincoln must remain active. Voters must vote-and so much more! If not, then I wonder if we are the last generation to know freedom like we’re been blessed with.



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