The Current

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The Frame of Freedom


50 Years

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington.  In honor of the event, President Obama spoke from the same steps where, years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. had offered America his dream so famously.  Witnessing all was the memorialized sixteenth president, sitting silently in grandeur, framing the scene.


A Monumental Task

How does one approach creating a memorial of a figure such as Abraham Lincoln?  Architect Henry Bacon of New York, sculptor Daniel Chester French of Massachusetts, artist Jules Guerin of Missouri, architectural sculptor Ernest Bairstow of Washington, D.C., artist and sculptor Evelyn Longman of Ohio, and marble cutters the Piccirilli Brothers of New York were chosen for the job.  The materials for the construction came from similarly diverse sources, among them being Georgia marble, Massachusetts granite, and Indiana limestone.


Steel and Velvet

Left hand clenched, right hand open, the arms of the chair entwined in reeds, those tasked with remembering Lincoln wanted to communicate the determination, the resolve, the darkness, and the hope that characterized his leadership of our nation.  Carl Sandburg described Lincoln as a man made up of “steel and velvet.”  A man of conviction and passion.


The nineteen foot statue centers a building of pillars and angles, designed for a famous hill-topper in Athens, Greece, the “birthplace of democracy.”  Murals designed to convey Lincoln’s great accomplishments, emancipation and unity, adorn its walls.


A Frame For Our Work

As we remember the March on Washington, the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Obama’s address to the nation fifty years later, let’s keep the frame of freedom in mind – freedom for all.  Freedom that still does not belong to everyone in our world, or even in our country, the United States of America.  The work of justice, like the work of building a memorial to the president we remember as the emancipator, requires the expertise and contributions of each of us if it is to continue to progress.


Lincoln Memorial (Jeff Kubina; source:

MOW50 Lincoln Memorial (Clara Campbel; source: