Regarding Lincoln's second inauguration, weeks of wet weather preceding it had caused Pennsylvania Avenue to become a sea of mud and standing water. Thousands of spectators stood in thick mud at the Capitol grounds to hear the President. As he stood on the East Portico to take the executive oath, the completed Capitol dome over the President's head was a physical reminder of the resolve of his Administration throughout the years of civil war. Chief Justice Salmon Chase administered the oath of office.
The following is likely the most significant, poignant, and powerful paragraph in any Presidential inaugural address in history. It was the last line of Lincoln's address. In little more that a month, President Lincoln would be assassinated:
|"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."|
Tomorrow will be a good day in America. Godspeed to President Obama in his second term. And at America's most critical hour, thank God for the life of Abraham Lincoln.