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RE:Obama Index/Contents
Senator Barack Obama speaks at the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Museum in Lincoln, Illinois on April 20, 2005. Barack Obama - Important Speeches and Remarks. Eleven significant Barack Obama speeches from October 2002 - November 2008. Abraham Lincoln presidential portrait photo taken on November 08, 1863. Senator Barack Obama speaks at the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Museum in Lincoln, Illinois on April 20, 2005. Barack Obama - Important Speeches and Remarks. Eleven significant Barack Obama speeches from October 2002 - November 2008. Senator Barack Obama speaks at the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Museum in Lincoln, Illinois on April 20, 2005. Barack Obama - Important Speeches and Remarks. Eleven significant Barack Obama speeches from October 2002 - November 2008.
Complete Text and Photos of Ten Important Barack Obama Speeches from 2002-2008.
October 2, 2002
Barack Obama speaks
against a war with Iraq
in Chicago, Illinois.
July 27, 2004
Barack Obama delivers
the Keynote Address at
DNC in Boston, MA.
January 8, 2008
Obama's passionate
"Yes We Can" speech at
school in Nashua, NH.
January 20, 2008
Barack Obama speaks at
Martin Luther King's
church in Atlanta, GA.
March 18, 2008
Barack Obama's inspiring
US racial issues speech
in Philadelphia, PA.
June 30, 2008
Obama's patriotic "The
America We Love" speech
in Independence, MO.
July 24, 2008
Obama delivers his only
European tour speech in
Berlin, Germany.
August 28, 2008
Obama's acceptance
speech at the DNC in
Denver, Colorado.
October 27, 2008
Obama's speech in last
week of campaign
delivered in Canton, OH.
November 4, 2008
Obama delivers his first
speech as President-elect
in Chicago's Grant Park.
Important Speeches and Remarks of Barack Obama
April 20, 2005 Springfield, Illinois
Senator Obama speaks at the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Museum in Illinois.
The Lincoln Presidential Museum features mannequins of the Lincoln family. Senator Barack Obama remarks at the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library on April 20, 2005 in Lincoln, Illinois.. Senator Barack Obama remarks at the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library on April 20, 2005 in Lincoln, Illinois. Night photo of the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library. Senator Barack Obama remarks at the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library on April 20, 2005 in Lincoln, Illinois.
The Lincoln museum features mannequins
of the Lincoln family.
The Lincoln Presidential Museum features mannequins of the Lincoln family. Senator Barack Obama remarks at the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library on April 20, 2005 in Lincoln, Illinois.. Daytime photo of the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library. Senator Barack Obama remarks at the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library on April 20, 2005 in Lincoln, Illinois. Day and night photos
of the Lincoln Presidential
Library and Museum in
Lincoln, Illinois.
The Lincoln museum
opened in April, 2005.
Senator Barack Obama remarks at the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library on April 20, 2005 in Springfield, Illinois.

April 20, 2005
Lincoln, Illinois

Remarks by Senator Obama at the Opening of the Lincoln Presidential Library Museum

Let me congratulate all of those who have helped to make this wonderful vision a reality.

But we gather here today not to celebrate a building. We gather to celebrate a man.

What is it that makes Lincoln such a seminal figure in our story? How is it that this man, born in the backwoods of Kentucky, with
little formal education, homely and awkward, a man given to depression and wracked with self-doubt, might come to represent so
much of who we are as a people, and so much of what we aspire to be?

Some of it has to do with the trajectory of his life. In his rise from poverty, his self-study and ultimate mastery of language and of
law, in his capacity to overcome personal loss and remain determined in the face of repeated defeat - in all of this we see a
fundamental element of the American character, a belief that we can constantly remake ourselves to fit our larger dreams.

Some of it has to do with the sheer energy of the man, the rail-splitter, ax-in-hand, looking out at a frontier of hope and possibility.
Lincoln believed deeply in the American spirit of innovation and exploration that accepts no limits to the heights to which our nation
might reach.

In all of this - the repeated acts of self-creation, the insistence that with sweated brow and calloused hands and focused will we can
recast the wilderness of the American landscape and the American heart into something better, something finer - in all of this Lincoln
embodies our deepest myths. It is a mythology that drives us still.

And yet what separates Lincoln from the other great men has to do with something else. It's an issue of character that speaks to us,
of moral resolve. Lincoln was not a perfect man, nor a perfect president. By modern standards, his condemnation of slavery might
be considered tentative; his Emancipation Proclamation more a military document than a clarion call for justice. He wasn't immune to
political considerations; his temperament could be indecisive and morose.

And yet despite these imperfections, despite his fallibility...indeed, perhaps because of a painful self-awareness of his own failings,
etched in every crease of his face and reflected in those haunted eyes...because of this essential humanity of his, when it came time
to confront the greatest moral challenge this nation has ever faced, Lincoln did not flinch. He did not equivocate or duck or pass the
challenge on to future generations. He did not demonize the fathers and sons who did battle on the other side, nor seek to diminish
the terrible costs of his war. In the midst of slavery's dark storm and the complexities of governing a house divided, he kept his
moral compass pointed firm and true.

It serves us then to reflect on whether that element of Lincoln's character, and the American character - that aspect which makes
tough choices, and speaks the truth when least convenient, and acts while still admitting doubt - remains with us today. Lincoln once
said that "character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing."

At a time when image all too often trumps substance, when our politics all too often feeds rather than bridges division, when the
prospects of a poor youth rising out of poverty seem of no consequence to the powerful, and when we evoke our common God to
condemn those who do not think as we do, rather than to seek God's mercy for our own lack of understanding - at such a time it is
helpful to remember this man who was the real thing. Lincoln reminds us that our essential greatness is not the shadow of
sophistication or popularity, or wealth or power or fleeting celebrity. It is the tree that stands in the face of our doubts and fears
and bigotries, and insists we can do better.

Today we come to celebrate not a building but a man. And as that man called once upon the better angels of our nature, so is he
calling still, across the ages, to summon some measure of that character, his character, in each of us, today.


Barack Obama with newly released Abraham Lincoln book. President-elect Obama leaves a friend's house for his motorcade in Chicago on 11/22/08. 100 Years After Lincoln Becomes President
Future President Barack Obama is Born.


Abraham Lincoln championed the abolition of slavery.
During the Civil War Lincoln used the war powers of
the presidency to declare the Emancipation Declaration
whereby he declared that "all persons held as slaves
within any State ... shall be forever free."

Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as President in 1861.
Lincoln was inaugurated on the 4th day of the month.

Barack Obama was born in 1961.
Obama was born on the 4th day of the month.

Barack Obama is the 44th President.

In 2008, 147 years after Lincolns 1861 Inauguration,
the 47 year old Barack Obama is elected President.

Barack Obama is an avid reader of Abraham Lincoln
books and documents and often quotes Lincoln.

You get the sense this is all divine destiny.

GO TO OBAMA - LINCOLN SECTION
President-elect Barack Obama carries a Lincoln book
 as he leaves a friend's house in Chicago on 11/22/08.
Complete Text and Photos of Ten Important Barack Obama Speeches from 2002-2008.
October 2, 2002
Barack Obama speaks
against a war with Iraq
in Chicago, Illinois.
July 27, 2004
Barack Obama delivers
the Keynote Address at
DNC in Boston, MA.
January 8, 2008
Obama's passionate
"Yes We Can" speech at
school in Nashua, NH.
January 20, 2008
Barack Obama speaks at
Martin Luther King's
church in Atlanta, GA.
March 18, 2008
Barack Obama's inspiring
US racial issues speech
in Philadelphia, PA.
June 30, 2008
Obama's patriotic "The
America We Love" speech
in Independence, MO.
July 24, 2008
Obama delivers his only
European tour speech in
Berlin, Germany.
August 28, 2008
Obama's acceptance
speech at the DNC in
Denver, Colorado.
October 27, 2008
Obama's speech in last
week of campaign
delivered in Canton, OH.
November 4, 2008
Obama delivers his first
speech as President-elect
in Chicago's Grant Park.
Daily Photo Journal Timeline of President-elect Barack Obama.
November 4, 2008
Obama's Victory Day
November 2008
77 Days - Section One
December 2008
77 Days - Section Two
January 2009
77 Days - Section Three
Historic change gives hope as
Obama becomes President-elect.
Obama's transition team
selects key cabinet posts.
Obama completes cabinet and
 takes family vacation in Hawaii.
Obama prepares for historic
Inauguration as 44th President.
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RE:Obama.com - The Important Speeches of Barack Obama - April 20, 2005.
 
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