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Celebrating Americas Freedoms


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celebrating-american-history.pngA collection of stories describing the history of America’s most beloved customs and national symbols. From the Pledge of Allegiance to folding the flag...

As the nation braced for the Civil War’s final throes, thousands of spectators gathered on a muddy Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol to hear President Lincoln’s second inaugural address. It was March 4, 1865, a time of great uneasiness. The war would end in just over one month, and the president would be assassinated.

President Lincoln framed his speech on the moral and religious implications of the war, rhetorically questioning how a just God could unleash such a terrible war upon the nation. “If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses in the providence of God, … and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offenses came.”

 

 

With its deep philosophical insights, critics have hailed the speech as one of Lincoln’s best.

As the speech progressed, President Lincoln turned from the divisive bitterness at the war’s roots to the unifying task of reconciliation and reconstruction. The president delivered his prescription for the nation’s recovery in the speech’s final paragraph.

abrham-lincoln.jpg“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” Abrham Lincoln

With the words, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan,” President Lincoln affirmed the government’s obligation to care for those injured during the war and to provide for the families of those who perished on the battlefield.

Today, a pair of metal plaques bearing those words flank the entrance to the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA is the federal agency responsible for serving the needs of veterans by providing health care, disability compensation and rehabilitation, education assistance, home loans, burial in a national cemetery, and other benefits and services.

Lincoln’s immortal words became the VA motto in 1959, when the plaques were installed, and can be traced to Sumner G. Whittier, administrator of what was then called the Veterans Administration. A document on VA medical history prepared for the Congressional Committee on Veterans Affairs titled, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle,” details how the words became VA’s motto. “He (Whittier) worked no employee longer or harder than himself to make his personal credo the mission of the agency. What was that credo? Simply the words of Abraham Lincoln, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan. To indicate the mission of his agency’s employees, Mr. Whittier had plaques installed on either side of the main entrance.”

President Lincoln’s words have stood the test of time and stand today as a solemn reminder of the VA’s commitment to care for those injured in our nation’s defense and the families of those killed in its service.

Click on the image below to download the complete PDF

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celebrating-americas-freedoms.pdf


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Tbird
 

Founder HadIt.com Veteran To Veteran LLC - Founded Jan 20, 1997

 

HadIt.com Veteran To Veteran | Community Forum | RallyPointFaceBook | LinkedInAbout Me

 

Time Dedicated to HadIt.com Veterans and my brothers and sisters: 65,700 - 109,500 Hours Over Thirty Years

 

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I am writing my memoirs and would love it if you could help a shipmate out and look at it.

I've had a few challenges, perhaps the same as you. I relate them here to demonstrate that we can learn, overcome, and find purpose in life.

The stories can be harrowing to read; they were challenging to live. Remember that each story taught me something I would need once I found my purpose, and my purpose was and is HadIt.com Veterans.

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