Today was the Congressional Ceremony honoring the Lincoln Bicentennial. As a self-professed "Lincolnite," I was honored to attend the ceremony and was particularly excited when I found out our current President would be speaking.
It was a pretty profound experience to be sitting in the Capitol Rotunda with the President of the United States listening to the National Anthem. Not surprisingly, in his remarks, President Obama touched on Lincoln's gift for empathy and desire for reconciliation after the Civil War and the lessons we can take away from that today. I was particularly touched by his remarks because it is not only my favorite aspect of Lincoln's character but also what I find most appealing about our current President - that drive to unite us under a common goal and point us towards our better instincts as a people.
There was a long list of other speakers on the program, but I have to say I was most excited about Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Pulitizer Prize winning author of the famous Lincoln biography Team of Rivals. She only spoke a short time but I was able to introduce myself afterwards and tell her how much I loved her book and how it really sparked a deep affection and curiosity for old Abe. The funniest part was I was clearly not the only fan because a group of 6 or 7 Senators gathered around her aftewards like a bunch of groupies.
All in all, it was a pretty fantastic experience and it made me realize how much I'm going to miss the opportunities D.C. affords me.