Civil War connections during Obama Inauguration

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.

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