If Abraham Lincoln were alive today, surely he would have deep continuing affection for LaRue County and the community of Hodgenville. But it’s likely “Honest Abe” would have these deep sentiments for reasons beyond the fact he spent a great deal of his childhood life growing up in a small one-room cabin on Sinking Spring Farm.
The community, known for being Lincoln’s boyhood home, keeps Lincoln’s memory alive and well year after year with celebrations on his birthday.
After all, who really likes to share their birthday glory with a long list of other individuals, some of whom aren’t necessarily held in the same high regard?
Passage of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1971 designates the third Monday of February as the federal observance of George Washington’s birthday. While Washington gets the credit for what unofficially is called President’s Day, the birthdays of Lincoln and all other U.S. presidents are acknowledged and celebrated in combination on this day.
While there have been attempts in the past to give Lincoln his due with a designated national holiday, none have been successful. Yes, it’s true official ceremonies are held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and through state commemorations of the rail-splitters birthday in Kentucky, Illinois, California, Connecticut, Missouri and New York, it only seems fitting Lincoln should get the same federal recognition as the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock, or the voyage of Christopher Columbus and his seafaring explorers navigating to the Americas.
This year, even the ongoing argument between the current president and his Democratic foes over border wall funding threatened to damper the 210th birthday celebrations that took place Tuesday in Hodgenville.
Thankfully the wreath-laying ceremony at Statue Plaza in Lincoln Square, reception at Hodgenville Christian Church Fellowship Hall and annual commemorative luncheon at the LaRue County Cooperative Extension Service office also were complemented by ceremonies at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park.
Were it not for the ending of the weeks-long government shutdown, the national park wouldn’t have been open for Abe’s 210th.
Until Lincoln is recognized and honored with his own official, federally recognized holiday memorializing his Feb. 12 birthday, we’ll continue to recognize and thank the many proud community officials, business leaders and residents of Hodgenville and LaRue County who honor his memory and the place in history of this native Kentuckian.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.