There are people in the history of this world who left huge footprints. They tend to be few and far between.
Some are remembered for the horrible things that they did: Genghis Khan (unquestionably a great conqueror, but his Mongol hordes were notorious in brutality at times), Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot…all have gone down in history because of the way they spent their lives in this world.
On the other hand, there are great men and women who have made the world a better place and helped to offset some of the horrors of our fellow-man: Mother Theresa, St. Francis of Assisi, Albert Schweitzer…and one of my very favorite heroes, Abraham Lincoln.
I’ve been to Washington, DC at least three times and every time that I go there, I make it a special point to visit the Lincoln Memorial. Somehow, though I can’t explain it, that edifice seems to shelter something of the living spirit of the man. It may be the words carved into the walls that remind us of the things that caused his heart to beat with passion. It may be the somewhat hushed silence that speaks of the reverence with which the visitors hold the man and his memory. It may be the incredible statue that sits, staring night and day, out on the city where he served his country…and where he died.
I shot this photo there back in 2009 or so. Though the light may be dim, the spirit of the man lives on in the hearts of those who love justice, freedom and mankind of all races and cultures. Many have faded into the shadows over the decades and centuries, but some never will. Abraham Lincoln was such a man.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1942, a Japanese submarine launched the brutal attack on Midway, a coral atoll used as a U.S. Navy base. It was the fourth bombing of the atoll by Japanese ships since December 7.
The capture of Midway was an important part of the broader Japanese strategy of trying to create a defensive line that would stretch from the western Aleutian Islands in the north to the Midway, Wake, Marshall, and Gilbert Islands in the south, then west to the Dutch West Indies. Occupying Midway would also mean depriving the United States of a submarine base and would provide the perfect launching pad for an all-out assault on Hawaii.
Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attack and commander in chief of the Japanese combined fleet, knew that only the utter destruction of U.S. naval capacity would ensure Japanese free reign in the Pacific. Japanese bombing of the atoll by ship and submarine failed to break through the extraordinary defense put up by Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, who used every resource available to protect Midway and, by extension, Hawaii. Yamamoto persevered with an elaborate warship operation, called Mi, launched in June, but the Battle of Midway was a disaster for Japan, and was the turning point for ultimate American victory in the Pacific.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is the only U.S. president who was also a licensed bartender. He was co-owner of Berry and Lincoln, a saloon in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln Logs are named after Abraham Lincoln and the log cabin where he was born. John Lloyd Wright, son of famous architect Francis Lloyd Wright, invented them.