For those of you who watched President Obama’s inauguration yesterday, did you catch all the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln references? By my count, there were four moments that struck a Civil War chord:
* In Senator Charles Schumer’s opening remarks, he referenced the “improbable completion of the Capitol dome and capping it with a statue of freedom” in 1863. Using it as a metaphor for Lincoln’s resilience despite a literally divided nation, he said that in “present times far too man doubt … our ability to tackle our own era’s half domes.” Yet, in the end, “Now matter how steep the climb, difficult the problem, how half-finished the task, America always rises to the occasion. America Prevails and America Prospers.” (Personally this was my favorite Civil War reference).
* In the invocation, civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams said “One hundred-fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation and 50 years after the March on Washington, we celebrate the spirit of our ancestors, which has allowed us to move from a nation of unborn hopes and a history of disenfranchised votes, to today’s expression of a more perfect union.”
*After the invocation, the Brooklyn Tabernacle performed Battle Hymn of the Republic:
*Finally, in President Obama’s inaugural address, the fifth paragraph invokes Lincoln’s Second Inaugural: “Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.”
Any other references to the Civil War, Lincoln, or slavery you heard in the ceremony? Let us know in the comments.