|Friday, Feb 13, 2009|
A commemoration and celebration of the bicentennial of President Lincolnâs birth was held yesterday at the Lincoln Memorial. Hosting the event were Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, National Capital Region Director Peggy OâDell, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), members of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and the Lincoln Birthday National Commemorative Committee.
In addition to five-time Grammy nominee Michael Feinstein singing a new rendition of the National Anthem and a premiere performance of Maya Angelouâs poem, We Dreamed, poet and author Nikki Giovanni dramatically interpreted her new work, At this Moment, written especially for this celebration. The U.S. Marine Corps Band provided accompaniment.
Students from Washington, D.C.âs Strong John Thomson Elementary School recited Lincolnâs Gettysburg Address, with retired Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Frank Williams leading the students in the reading of the speech.
At the end of the ceremony, 26 wreaths, including one for the Office of the President, one for the Department of the Interior, and one for the Diplomatic Corps of the District of Columbia, among others, were placed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, followed by a Marine Corps buglerâs playing of âTaps.â
At Fordâs Theatre National Historic Site, interpretive rangers and Superintendent Kym Elder placed a wreath on the front steps of Fordâs Theatre in honor of President Lincolnâs 200th birthday.
Besides the Lincoln Memorial and Fordâs Theatre National Historic Site, the National Park Service also has the honor of preserving and managing a third site within Washington, D.C., Lincoln Park, a unit of National Capital Parks-East.