Rockford, IL (WiredPRNews.com) This summer, before you settle on your vacation plans, consider staying put in Illinois, the most important state in the nation – maybe even one of the most important places in the world.
I say that because Illinois gave us Abraham Lincoln, not only the greatest president in our nation’s history, but perhaps one of the greatest statesman and orators the world has ever known.
Consider this: Without Lincoln, the United States of America would have been divided into two countries, one where people lived free and the other where people lived as slaves—a thought worthy of a science fiction horror movie. And an America divided would not have gone on to become the superpower and global leader that would defeat Nazism and Communism, ideologies bent on world slavery.
If not for Lincoln, the United States of America would not be what he himself called “the last best hope of earth.” The dream of the founding fathers would have died at Fort Sumter.
Now on the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, the most extraordinary legacy of the sixteenth president sits in the White House: The 44th president, Barack Obama, the first African American President of the United States of America who won the popular and electoral vote in an election inconceivable back then.
Illinois may be the Land of Lincoln, but it’s also the land of other presidents: Grant, Reagan, and now Obama. Republicans and a Democrat, all sons of Illinois. Clearly there is something about our state that nurtures greatness and world-class leaders.
During this year-long commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial, I urge you to go to Springfield. Take your family, your friends, and tour the state senate chambers where President Obama began his meteoric rise to the White House. Head to the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Don’t wait, or this defining event in our history will pass you by.
It is with good reason people think of greatness when they think of Illinois – we’ve got the Great Lakes, the great city of Chicago, and most of all great people. So this summer take time to go to Springfield, the capitol of the greatest state in America, the place our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, called home.
Dan Arnold is a Trustee with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and president of Road Ranger, LLC based in Rockford, Ill. His e-mail address is [email protected] For more information on Abe Lincoln historical sites, check out www.enjoyillinois.com, www.visit-springfieldillinois.com, www.civilwar.org/150th-anniversary/ or www.lookingforlincoln.com.