from Lincoln, live like Lincoln
By Ron J. Keller,
Lincoln Heritage Museum director
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Threescore and 10 years ago, our college brought forth to this
community a museum dedicated to the heritage left by our 16th
president. But the passing of years, cramped space, crucial
conservation needs and changing museum expectations all called for
a new museum. Lincoln College has devoted several years in
developing a unique and engaging museum experience, hiring an
internationally respected design company to creatively tell our
story. We are now ready to open this new Lincoln Heritage Museum to
the public. Those who have walked through the museum have commented
that it exceeded their "wildest expectations" and that they "really
Abraham Lincoln is claimed to have quipped, "Die when I may, I
want it said of me that I always plucked a thistle and planted a
flower where I thought a flower would grow." He understood that his
time on Earth and his duty and service to his fellow man mattered.
That is why he is such a compelling and fascinating subject even
Abraham Lincoln's rise was developed on the frontier, molded
in courtrooms and legislative chambers, elevated by rallies and
stump speeches, and won in the personal and genuine relationships he
established in towns and cities across this nation. How Lincoln rose
to greatness, the character qualities he developed, and the people
who knew him and whom he knew are themes interwoven into our new
museum. Not only is Lincoln's life examined here, but also stories
of and voices from over 60 individuals are introduced. These are
people Lincoln met, befriended and were in part responsible for
his success and accomplishments.
In many ways this museum is our collective story —
who we are as a
country and a people, and what we wish to yet become. Through the
example of one person, and of those with whom he came into contact,
the new museum beckons us to pause and contemplate our individual
time on this earth, and the good we can do it make a better place
than when we found it.
Lincoln was perhaps the greatest American
ever, but beyond that, he serves as a character model we can
learn from and live like. It is a challenge for us to dedicate
ourselves to the great unfinished tasks remaining before us.
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There are ample opportunities for you to be a part of this
amazing museum. There is no more exciting time in our museum's
history than now. Might you consider helping our museum for
future generations by becoming a Friend of the Lincoln Heritage
Museum through a financial commitment?
Might you consider becoming a museum volunteer and enjoy the
welcoming of the many visitors we receive from across the
country and the world? By doing so, you will be continuing the
legacy of Lincoln.
I thank the community for its great support of our Lincoln
Heritage Museum. You rightly recognize that this museum has been
and will continue to be an integral part of the cultural,
economic and educational well-being of Lincoln and Logan
County. We feel blessed and honored to be one of this area's
greatest assets and resources.
[By RON KELLER, museum director,
Lincoln Heritage Museum]