Special guests included Lt. Gov. candidate Joe Birkett, Congressman
Ray LaHood Senator Larry Bomke, State Rep. Rich Brauer, Mayor Beth
Davis, Rep. and Lincoln College president John Hutchinson joined in
singing the Star Spangled Banner led by Mary Kay (Fedor) Lorenz on
the stairs to Lincoln College’s University Hall.
Each of the speakers shared some treasured aspect of the legacy left
by A. Lincoln. Birkett, Dupage County States Attorney said that he
utilizes some of the advice that Lincoln left including avoid
litigation and “get paid first,” which brought chuckles.
President Abraham Lincoln (interpreted by Gary Simpkins) drew the
audience back in time to when the nation was steeped in the anguish
of a civil war. It was July 3rd and what would later be understood
as some of the darkest and most tumultuous days of Lincoln’s
presidency. Union and Confederate soldiers entered into a bloody
battle at a field in Gettysburg that left 10,000 soldiers dead by
morning on July 4. This led Lincoln to make decisions that were
unpopular in both the north and the south in his struggle to free
slaves yet not divide the nation. He concluded with a heartfelt
reading of the Gettysburg Address.
The Lincoln Commission is composed of chairs: City of Lincoln Mayor
Beth Davis, Lincoln College curator Ron Keller; Lincoln College
president John Hutchinson, Abraham Lincoln Historian, Paul Gleason;
Abraham Lincoln Historian, Paul Beaver; Postville Courthouse
coordinator Shirley Bartlemay; Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of
Logan County director Geoff Ladd; Alderman/Main Street director
Wanda Lee Rohlfs; Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce director
Bobbi Abbott; Logan Railsplitting Association coordinator Darlene
Begolka and Honorary commission member Charles Ott.
The city is honored to have the following members serving on the
National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission advisory committee:
Ron Keller, John Hutchinson, Paul Gleason and Paul Beaver. Keller is
serving on the Illinois commission as well.
The committee would like to receive your ideas for future events and
invite you to contact any member.