Sea Foam: Longtime resident shares 'Lincoln's Legacy' for Presidents Day

Special to Lowcountry LifeFebruary 20, 2012 

Thanks to John E. McIntire of Sun City Hilton Head for sharing a Presidents Day story.

He sent us an editorial about Abraham Lincoln that left him saying, "Boy, could we use more like him today."

John visited Hilton Head Island in 1965, liked what he saw and bought a lot in Port Royal Plantation in 1967. He built a home in 1971 and lived there for 33 years before moving to Sun City.

"Now that I'm much older (pushing 93) and having been a 'pack rat' for many years, I'm weeding out," he writes. "In doing so I ran across a Savannah Morning News editorial on President Lincoln that you might find useful. I just finished Bill O'Reilly's book, 'Killing Lincoln' -- a very interesting story."

The editorial was published Feb. 12, 1976, when Thomas F. Coffey Jr. and Larry Powell were associate editors writing editorials for the newspaper, then under executive editor Wallace M. Davis Jr. and general manager Donald E. Harwood.

"Lincoln's Legacy"

Savannah Morning News

The nation pauses each year to mark the birthday anniversary of Abraham Lincoln, but perhaps this bicentennial year better underscores the significance of his presidency.

We can only speculate on whether the nation would have been preserved if someone else had been in office. Speculation is cheap, at best, and it neither can be proven nor disproved.

So we have only the record of Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States at a time when the nation became divided and experienced its most inglorious period of history. The record is one of a leader who was determined to preserve the union and who did at the cost of great personal loneliness and anguish.

Mr. Lincoln saw in America something worth keeping, so he regarded his personal sacrifice as not too great a price to pay. He took his inspiration from the Declaration of Independence, and once in a speech at Independence Hall expressed himself this way:

"It was not the mere matter of separation of the colonies from the motherland, but the sentiment of the Declaration of Independence, which gave liberty not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights would be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance."

We think Mr. Lincoln perceived the American dream better, perhaps, than even some of those who framed the Declaration of Independence, and it is to his credit that he strived to make the dream endure.

We are at the point of bicentennial celebration because many Americans these 200 years regarded the nation as worth keeping. Not the least of these: Abraham Lincoln.

The Island Packet appreciates all written and photographic submissions from readers. All submissions become the copyrighted property of The Island Packet, which may use them for any purpose, including in print and online, without compensation to the submitter.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service