The Five Minute Silence

Old magazine cover (from B. Nash collection)

Old magazine cover (from B. Nash collection)


At 722am he died. It was April 15, 1865. Mr. Lincoln had been shot and there was no hope. Various people came and went from the room where he had been placed. Mrs. Lincoln was not in the room with him when he expired. She was in a parlor room nearby. Among those who were there was Mr. Stanton and a Pastor.

When Abraham Lincoln drew his final breath and died, there followed a silence. Perhaps it was too painful a moment for those present. Maybe it was for respect that no one said anything for approximately five minutes. Those few minutes must have seemed like an eternity. This was no ordinary man who had just died no ordinary death. As the people in the room tried to understand what had transpired for the last 10 hours or so- it must have been too much for words. The event would impact them and the world forever. So nothing was said for five minutes- a silence pregnant with unimaginable meaning. Maybe the silence spoke more than any words could…

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