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Essay

The Immortal Emblem of Humanity

                      “.....shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”   Those immortal words uttered by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 continue to resonate throughout the entire world and  light the lamp of liberty.  Lincoln created a global perspective of that democratic ideal by restoring and reinvigorating the immortal emblem of humanity, the Declaration of Independence: all men are created equal; and all men, women, and children are endowed with the natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

            Lincoln’s life was the quintessential testimonial to a devotion to a democratic system of government, the rule of law, and the ultimate faith in the common man.  The prairie lawyer spoke early in his political life of the over-arching wisdom of the Constitution of the United States of America and the universal need to be governed by law tempered by public sentiment.

              Lincoln believed no man was good enough to govern another without the other’s consent.  Lincoln’s democratic ideal inspired  Benito Juarez, Leo Tolstoy, Gandhi, U Thant,  and countless others who found strength in their shared belief in the power and magic of public opinion.  

             Lincoln believed those who would deny freedom to others do not deserve it for themselves.  Lincoln believed  that the highest function of civilization is to create sympathy and empathy among strangers as in nations or individuals.  “ I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall be no doubt that all men are created equal.”