Another 12th of February to remember my late great Uncle Joaquin
As we get older, we associate certain moments of history with people we grew up with. For example, the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis remind me of my parents. Hearing of Minnie Minoso reminds me of my father and brother one Sunday afternoon in Cuba.
I am always reminded of my late great uncle on Lincoln anniversaries, from his date of birth to the Gettysburg Address to the day he was assassinated.
President Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809. I don't believe he had a bigger fan on this planet than my late great uncle, who was a judge; a college professor; an attorney; and, I repeat, a big fan of President Lincoln.
I am sure he would have loved this post about Mr. Lincoln written by Scott Johnson:
Today is of course the anniversary of the birth of America's greatest president, Abraham Lincoln.
As a politician and as president, Lincoln was a profound student of the Constitution and constitutional history.
Perhaps most important, Lincoln was America's indispensable teacher of the moral ground of political freedom at the exact moment when the country was on the threshold of abandoning what he called its "ancient faith" that all men are created equal.
In 1858 Lincoln attained national prominence in the Republican Party as the result of the contest for the Senate seat held by Stephen Douglas.
It was Lincoln's losing campaign against Douglas that made him a figure of sufficient prominence that he could be the party's 1860 presidential nominee.
At the convention of the Illinois Republican Party in June, Lincoln was the unanimous choice to run against Douglas.
After making him its nominee late on the afternoon of June 16, the entire convention returned that evening to hear Lincoln speak.
Accepting the convention's nomination, Lincoln gave one of the most incendiary speeches in American history.
Lincoln electrified the convention, asserting that the institution of slavery had made the United States "a house divided against itself." Slavery would either be extirpated or become lawful nationwide, Lincoln predicted, provocatively quoting scriptural authority to the effect that "a house divided against itself cannot stand."
Demonstrating how it "changed the course of history," Harry Jaffa calls it "[t]he speech that changed the world."
Yes, my great uncle would have loved President Lincoln referred to as "America's indispensable teacher of the moral ground of political freedom." Yes, he would have loved that!
To say the least, Abraham Lincoln had a huge impact on his life and specially his political ideas.
In fact, he was such a fan that my brother and I got to sit at his home study and hear him recite the Gettysburg Address.
We were too young back in Cuba to appreciate his message. It took me a while, and relocation to this wonderful country, to understand it and to love each and every word.
Years later, I always think of my great uncle on any day, or when I am exposed to any documentary or book, that reminds us of the 16th president of the U.S.