Tuesday, June 09, 2009

U.S. Military Cemetery, Normandy

They did their duty: the wild kid
from Nebraska with the Lucky on
his raspberry lip, the sodajerk
from Teaneck with the violet pressed
in Katy's letter. The markers stand
to attention, row by row, above
the foam on the ragged beaches where
each of them drew their final breath.

Christopher T. George

A hero of Barack Obama, the 44th President of these United States, was Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the 16th President of these United States. It was Abraham Lincoln who said:

"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history."

This is what Abraham Lincoln said:

"Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility."

Lincoln was born in Kentucky, raised in Indiana, and lived in Illinois. He died as the result of an assassin's bullet in Washington, D.C., April 15th, 1865.

At his inauguration 144 years later, Barack Obama, 44th president of these United States, born in Hawaii, rose to power in the United States Senate representing Illinois, said on January 20th, 2009:

"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, . . . . For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn."

Barack Obama, the 44th President, stood on the battleground at Normandy on June 6th, 2009, 64 years after the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy, and this is what he said:

"As we face down the hardships and struggles of our time and arrive at that hour for which we were born, we cannot help but draw strength from those moments in history when the best among us were somehow able to swallow their fears and secure a beachhead on an unforgiving shore."

(In composing the foregoing narrative with quotes from Lincoln and Obama, I owe a debt to composer Aaron Copeland's outstanding "A Lincoln Portrait" which quotes the words of Abraham Lincoln and those of Lincoln's biographer, poet Carl Sandburg.)

1 comment:

nia said...

So impressive and well expressed. You did a nice tribute for this great pages of history. Thank you Chris.