On this day in 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born. Despite his humble beginnings and lack of formal education, Lincoln distinguished himself as an honest leader and a powerful speaker. Leading the nation through the Civil War, our 16th President fought for unity and helped bring an end to slavery in our country. Modeled after the Parthenon in Greece (the birthplace of democracy), the Lincoln Memorial honors his legacy. It’s a towering icon on the Washington, D.C., landscape that attracts visitors from all over the world to be inspired by Lincoln’s words and accomplishments. Photo courtesy of Drew Geraci.
“Just one sunbeam, please?” I found myself muttering as I watched a narrow break in the stratus clouds move east across the sky in the moments before sunrise Sunday morning. The sky was gray and drab at the time, and it lacked the vivid shades of red and yellow that I hope to photograph during my sunrise shoots.
Photographers know the pain of waking up before 5 a.m. to find that clouds have obscured the sunrise. The best sunrise colors occur on the edge of cloud decks and storm systems, but if the clouds move in too soon and completely cover the sky, the sunrise colors turn to shades of gray.
But the narrow break in the overcast gave hope to me and my photography friend, Dennis Govoni, who had joined me for the photo shoot at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. My hope was light from the rising sun could shine through the gap in the clouds to produce sun rays with shades of red and yellow light, giving a splash of color to the otherwise gray sky.
Built to honor the 16th president of the United States of America, The Lincoln Memorial is located across from the Washington Monument. The building resembles a Greek Doric temple, and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, which was designed by Daniel Chester French.
The walls of the memorial feature inscriptions from two of Lincolns most famous speeches, “The Gettysburg Address”, and his second inaugural speech. The site itself has been the location for many famous speeches, such as Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
I have no doubt we, this gorgeous and eclectic and vast we, can get to where we need to go. We can become what those stunningly worded promises signed in high ceilinged rooms believed we could become. A beautiful man with a beautiful dream believed it too, he spoke eloquently of it and the echo of those words reverberates across this land still. We are better than what we have been of late, we can do so much more. The time is now to love harder, fight fiercer for equality and decency, and lend our voices to the chorus of those unwilling to hide behind fear and ignorance. We are all the same, in the end, we all want to love and be loved and close our eyes peacefully at the close of each day, surrounded by those that feel like home.