This month America celebrates President’s Day, including the birthday of one the most well known America Presidents, Abraham Lincoln. To honor Lincoln, the Lincoln Highway National Museum and Archives is calling on world leaders to write letters and essays on “What Abraham Lincoln Means to Me.”The Lincoln Highway represents freedom and the road of hope to a brighter tomorrow for everyone. Now, in another way to show gratitude and remembrance for a great leader, phase two has begun. Craig Harmon, the Founder and Director of the Lincoln Highway National Museum and Archives, came up with the idea for the 1st Annual Liberty Enlightening the World- Lincoln & Liberty, global essay contest.
This essay contest is the first of its kind; it is “A Global Calling” asking over 200 world leaders to put their thoughts and feeling down on paper about Abraham Lincoln and what he means to them.
The idea for this contest started because Harmon wanted to “Engage world leaders with Abraham Lincoln in a non-competitive environment that would quantify for present and future generations and the influence of Abraham Lincoln on the hearts and minds of the world community…Leading the way for a truly global Lincoln Bicentennial celebration,” he said.
The timing of this contests comes at a time in American life when decisions of how and whom should run America come into question. It reminds people of what this county started out with and how far America has come.
The letters were asked to be “genuine personal thoughts” written or typed and will be posted on a “Special Series of Web Pages” during the week of Feb. 12th coinciding with Lincoln’s Birthday celebration.
Lincoln is known for his part in the abolition of slavery, issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865. Now about 140 years after the 13th Amendment, America has the opportunity to vote for an African American for president; marking a historic moment in history, part of which can be credited to Lincoln.
The essays will be posted on the Web sites next week and will continue to be posted until Feb. 12, 2009 as the “finale” to Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration.
Requests were sent to many world leaders including, Pope Benedict XVI, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Queen Elizabeth, President Bush, his 15 cabinet secretaries, the leaders of congress, the Chief Justice and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, 50 state governors and five territorial governors, and the Mayor of the District of Columbia.
Anyone can enter the contest; entries must be submitted by midnight, Feb. 5. The winners of the contest will be announced on Feb. 12.
Katie Moyer is a fourth-year student majoring in professional studies. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.