Senator Edward Kennedy Comments on Abraham Lincoln


Senator Edward Kennedy

  “The words of Lincoln ring everywhere.”

                                                                          -Edward Kennedy

In his book America Back On Track, Senator Edward Kennedy offered some comments regarding Abraham Lincoln that are noteworthy:

“When the nation was torn by tragic divisions over slavery, Lincoln sought to unify America by restoring Jefferson’s principles of liberty and equality as the foundation of the nation’s beliefs. Lincoln’s eloquence was matched in our history only by Jefferson’s. We are, as Lincoln reminded us, a nation “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”


Senator Kennedy went on in the book to detail an incident he had with the first president of the Czech Republic involving Lincoln:

“An experience I had in the 1990s with the courageous first president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, has stayed with me. During the term of the first President Bush, Havel visited Washington as president of his nation newly freed after decades of repression under Nazi Germany and then the Soviet Union. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to spend some time with him during the visit, and I thought he’d like to see one of the most moving sites in our capital, the Lincoln Memorial.


When we arrived there, his aide began translating into Czech the famous words from the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address engraved on the walls. Then Havel asked me to read Lincoln’s words aloud. Havel was also one of his nation’s leading authors and poets, and as he listened to the words as Americans hear them, I could see his eyes light up. He understood the power of a great leader’s stirring appeal to a nation deeply in need of healing. Lincoln’s words were poetry, and he was riveted by them.


Those words still have meaning for the life of every American. As Havel poignantly reminded me, liberty is the beacon of light that America sends around the earth. The world admires us for our commitment to liberty and equality above all else. The words of Lincoln ring everywhere.”


Senator Kennedy also commented:

“We know from history and our not too distant past that the right leadership can summon, as President Lincoln said, “the better angels of our nature” and inspire us to meet our challenges and make the world a better place.”


Words all well said from Senator Edward Kennedy. Thank you sir!


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