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Naomi Yakawich on Meeting Lincoln: Day 5 IYLA Log

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"Lincoln paid the ultimate price for what he knew to be good and just." wrote Naomi Yakawich on her log of the International Youth Leaders Assembly that is traveling from New York to Philadelphia to Washington D.C.

Read her moving encounter with the 16th President of the United States and what she learned from it.

I made my way up the smooth marble steps, weaving in and out of a dense crowd.  The crying of children, laughter between friends, and fond exchanges of words between couples blended into one voice of excitement.

It wasn’t until I reached the top of the steps that I let the atmosphere of excitement envelop my mind.  Squeezing between people I reached the target of so many flashing cameras. Abraham Lincoln sat in silence on his white throne. 

Like so many others, Abe had always been my favorite president. Approaching the Lincoln Memorial felt like seeing an old friend after a very long absence. The expression on Lincoln’s face conveys meaning so deep that only another leader could understand. Wisdom, pain, and love is etched in the faded lines of Abe’s undying figure. 

The way in which Abe sits is that of a man just recently retiring after a very long day of work. I thought to him, “How tired you must have been from carrying so much weight. The price of freedom for all mankind is so heavy.” 

Like so many others, Lincoln paid the ultimate price for what he knew to be good and just. His selflessness and courage to do what others were too afraid to do made him an unstoppable force of justice.

Abraham Lincoln’s face is etched into metal, stone, and paper from sea to shining sea.  Abe’s ideals and character is etched into the hearts of proud Americans.

When I go out into the world I hope that my fellow Americans will follow me in pledging “our lives, our fortune, and our sacred honor (Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence)” to create a peaceful world.

Written by: Naomi Yakawich