On March 13, 2020 we gathered some things we might need from our offices and readied ourselves to work from home during what we anticipated to be a two-week closure for the incipient Covid-19 public health crisis. In a recent team meeting, our staff reflected on the spectators who gathered at the Battle of Bull Run expecting a swift Union victory. Similar to them, we had no idea of the magnitude of the crisis we faced. And, perhaps we still don’t.
A year later, the world looks vastly different. We have closed and reopened twice to keep our community safe. Like so many, we are experiencing the individual and collective grief that grips our country. On a programmatic level, we have exerted our creativity to come up with responsive programs, messaging and experiences, and, like others, we have mastered the art of the Zoom meeting. In many ways, we are more determined than we were a year ago. Our tours are different, but our doors are open, and each day that we are here – on these grounds that nurtured the Lincolns during national crisis – we are thankful for that opportunity.
And yet, this deepened understanding of impermanence gives rise to a glimmer of hope. While walking around the Cottage yesterday, I noticed the crocuses are beginning to show themselves. Many of the vulnerable people we know are beginning to have appointments for vaccines. These small signs, coming after the melancholies of pandemic winter, remind us of Lincoln’s words on slavery and emancipation, “The power of hope upon human exertion, and happiness, is wonderful.”
So this March, we wish you all hope. We join you in looking forward to new wisdom and new beginnings, while keeping an eye on the lessons of the past.
Thank you all for your continued support of the Cottage throughout this difficult year.
We recommend the following items from our store to celebrate Women’s History Month:
In this year’s summit, students from around the world will come together to solve an actual problem that anti-trafficking experts are currently facing.
Please alert the young activists in your lives that registration for the summit is now open. Applications are due May 10th.
Support our educational programs, preservation efforts and public events by making a contribution to President Lincoln’s Cottage. Donate online today.