150th an­niver­sary of the as­sas­si­na­tion of Lin­coln marked in Wash­ing­ton

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

With the lay­ing of a wreath and a lone trum­peter play­ing “Taps,” Amer­i­cans on Wed­nes­day marked the 150th an­niver­sary of the death of Civil War Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln from an as­sas­sin’s bul­let.

Sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple, some in pe­riod cos­tume, gath­ered out­side the down­town Wash­ing­ton row house where Lin­coln passed away the morn­ing af­ter he was shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater across the street.

The 56-year-old Lin­coln had barely 24 hours ear­lier told a White House vis­i­tor how pleased he was that the Civil War — in which up to 850,000 peo­ple had per­ished — was over.

The trum­peter, in a blue Union army uni­form, played “Taps” mourn­fully. A U.S. park ranger laid a wreath by the front door of Petersen House.

Church bells tolled across Wash­ing­ton, as they did a cen­tury and a half ear­lier.

On fed­eral build­ings across the United States, flags flew at half-staff af­ter Pres­i­dent Barack Obama de­clared Wed­nes­day day of re­mem­brance.”

“Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln be­lieved that we are, at heart, one na­tion and one peo­ple,” Obama said in a procla­ma­tion.

“At a time when Amer­ica was torn apart and our very fu­ture was in doubt, he knew our coun­try was more than a col­lec­tion of states, and that we shared a bond that would not break.”

Lin­coln over­saw the Union’s suc­cess­ful war against the break­away south­ern Con­fed­er­acy and, in 1863, signed the Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion to end slav­ery.

Many to­day re­gard him as the great­est of the 43 men — all them white, bar Obama — who have served as pres­i­dent, at a time when public trust in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics is run­ning low.

Dozens of events have been or­ga­nized in Wash­ing­ton and around the United States to mark Lin­coln’s as­sas­si­na­tion, from an all- night vigil at Ford’s Theater to a restag­ing of “Our Amer­i­can Cousin,” the English farce he was watch­ing when he was shot, in his home state of Illi­nois.

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