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A. Lincoln: 215 and Counting

By Edward Epstein

Washington, D.C.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Continuing a tradition that goes back more than a century, a crowd gathered today at the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 215th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln.

About two dozen wreaths were laid at the base of Daniel Chester French's monumental sculpture of a seated Lincoln, including one from the Lincoln Group of D.C. (left).

The first ceremony was held at the memorial on the western end of the National Mall in 1923, one year after the structure was dedicated. The tradition has gone on uninterrupted ever since to mark Lincoln's birth on February 12, 1809.

This year, the words of Lincoln's 1863 Gettysburg Address were delivered by Lincoln Group President David J. Kent (above).

The day's events began at 9 a.m. when Major General Trevor J. Bredenkamp, Commanding General of The Military District of Washington, laid the first wreath on behalf of President Joe Biden. (above). Another wreath was laid on behalf of the Department of the Interior, whose National Park Service oversees the memorial and the entire National Mall.

In addition to the Lincoln Group, a parade of veterans' organizations, patriotic groups, educational organizations, and groups representing Kentucky - where Lincoln was born - and Illinois - where he rose to prominence - also placed wreaths. (below)

Photos by Edward Epstein


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