By Edward Epstein
Sunday, February12, 2023
A cold rain didn't dampen the enthusiasm as the Lincoln Group and a parade of other groups and individuals gathered at the Lincoln Memorial today to honor Abraham Lincoln on the 214th anniversary of his birth.
Some two dozen wreaths were laid at the foot of Daniel Chester French's epic statue of a seated Lincoln inside the memorial on the western end of Washington's National Mall.
The first wreath, laid two hours before the ceremony began, was from President Joe Biden. The others were placed during the ceremony, which featured a reading of the Gettysburg Address, a stirring rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic and music from the brass quintet of the U.S. Air Force Band.
The Lincoln Group's wreath was placed by president David Kent, who also represents the Lincoln Group on the Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee, the group that annually organizes the Washington commemoration of Lincoln's birthday.
Lincoln Group members also placed wreaths for some of the many other organizations that participate in the yearly event.
Lincoln Group secretary Ed Epstein laid the wreath for Hildene, the home and farm that Robert Todd Lincoln built in Manchester, Vermont. It now is open for tours and teaches about President Lincoln's life and legacy. The only one of the four sons of Abraham and May Lincoln to live into adulthood, Robert played a key role in designing the Lincoln memorial and was present when the structure was dedicated in May 1922.
Lincoln Group board member Rod Ross placed the wreath for the Illinois State Society.
Photos by Ed Epstein