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Letters to the Editor

Lincoln Daily News publishes letters to the editor as they are received.
 The letters are not edited in content and do not necessarily reflect 
the views of Lincoln Daily News.

Lincoln Daily News requests that writers responding to controversial issues address the issue and refrain from personal attacks. Thank you!

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Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

Letters must include the writer's name, telephone number, and postal address or e-mail address (we will not publish address or phone number information). Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to edit letters to reduce their size or to correct obvious errors. Lincoln Daily News reserves the right to reject any letter for any reason. Lincoln Daily News will publish as many acceptable letters as space allows.


The 'statue'       Send a link to a friend

I just read about the "statue" your town is proposing.

I don't know what else to say other than that I am honestly appalled that you would even consider such a tasteless way to commemorate this man who is arguably one of the greatest Americans ever and of whom the state of Illinois should take utmost pride in claiming as perhaps its foremost citizen. In fact, it is far from a "commemoration." It is a blatant and egregiously self-serving commercialization of a national icon, and one which can only engender ridicule and controversy.

Yes, there will be people who will flock to see your proposed curiosity, but even more who will find it offensive and utterly bankrupt of style and good taste. In time, it will come to be ridiculed on the same level as the National Tower was at Gettysburg. I fully understand the need of smaller communities to discover ways to encourage growth and prosperity in times of shifting demographics. If you feel a theme park is the only cure to your revitalization problems, so be it. But I encourage your town fathers to take a jaunt to Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and see firsthand what "creative problem-solving" has done to that blight on our nation's landscape. Is that the image of your town's future? Isn't your city's well of creativity any deeper than that?

 

[to top of second column in this letter]

I challenge you to stand at the foot of Daniel French's incredible white marble statue in Washington, read the amazing words of the Second Inaugural Address, then ask yourselves if what you are proposing is truly the best you can do to uphold the veneration this great man? Or drive a few miles to the tomb in Springfield, stand there in the darkened silence of where he rests and ask him what he thinks of your idea. I think you know the answer.

I implore you, don't make a laughingstock of this man at a time when our country is in such dire need of real heroes.

Respectfully, 

Jeff Boerger

Mason, Mich.

(posted 3-27-04)

Abraham Lincoln statue       Send a link to a friend

Below is a response letter from Mayor Davis to the Los Angeles Times editor regarding a March 22 article written by reporter Stephanie Simon.

- - - - -

Dear Editor/Ms. Simon:

As mayor of the city of Lincoln, president of the Lincoln/Logan County Economic Development Partnership and a member of the Lincoln Statue Corporation, I find Ms. Simon's humor in poking fun at our Abraham Lincoln statue proposal appalling.

First of all, in case you didn't know, Abraham Lincoln, next to Jesus Christ, is the most read and talked about person in the history of mankind. In case you didn't get very far into our city's website, I'd like to give you some facts about our great city.

Lincoln, Ill., located in the middle of the state, was named as the No. 1 tourism city and county in the state of Illinois in 2003 at our Illinois Municipal League convention in Chicago last September. Early in 2003, our Logan County Looking for Lincoln group produced a wonderful video depicting Abraham Lincoln's life in Lincoln and Logan County.

The city itself celebrated its 150th anniversary (sesquicentennial) in August 2003 with a 10-day multi-entertaining celebration. We produced a video diary DVD and still-picture DVD depicting the sesquicentennial events, as well as a DVD of the Abraham Lincoln statue we are proposing. We had a three-day hot-air balloon fest, around-the-clock guard of the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall we commissioned for our celebration, live outside entertainment including a variety of bands and the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, an Abe and Mary Lincoln look-alike contest, Civil War re-enactors and band, a Civil War ball, a two-hour parade, an 1860s baseball game, a community picture, an Underground Railroad display and speaker talk about how quilts were essential in helping slaves escape from slave to free states during the Civil War, a panel of well-known history professors talk about the life of Abraham Lincoln, etc. We take our claim to fame from Abraham Lincoln, not only as the man who walked our streets, named and christened our city with the juice of a watermelon, but who then seven short years later became our nation's 16th president.

 

[to top of second column in this letter]

Our local Rev. S.M. Davis' idea of celebrating Abraham Lincoln as the great man he was has been a serious goal of our corporation and for many people of our community. The statue's proposed 305-foot height was decided upon because it is the same height as the Statue of Liberty. What better place is there than Lincoln, Ill., to build the Abe statue than in the community where he laid out the town, christened it his namesake, owned property, practiced law, where he actually got his name "Honest Abe," and where he truly showed humility and kindness to his fellow human beings?

The city of Lincoln is only 30 miles north of Springfield, Ill. (our state capital); 30 miles south of Bloomington, Ill.; 40 miles southeast of Peoria, Ill.; and 25 miles west of Decatur, Ill. We are in the hub of interstates I-55, I-155, Route 10, Route 121 and located on famous Route 66.

Please print this letter and give the memory of Abraham Lincoln and the city named for and by him the respect he deserves. If only you knew the wonderful museums we have planned to surround the statue -- all the nationalities he represented and cared for as president of the United States. The statue will be tasteful, reverent and awe-inspiring.

If you hear of a corporation interested in becoming a sponsor, please forward that information to me, the Rev. S.M. Davis or corporation president Larry Steffens.

I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to express my views and clarify some of the misconceptions reporter Simon stated about our great city in her article of March 22, 2004. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Mayor Elizabeth A. "Beth" Davis

City of Lincoln, Illinois

(posted 3-25-04)

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