Lincoln Memorial Inscriptions

evening shot of lincoln statue
The inscription glows behind the statue at night. NPSPhoto

Directly behind the statue of Abraham Lincoln inside the memorial chamber an inscription reads:

IN THIS TEMPLE
AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION
THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
IS ENSHRINED FOREVER


 

The Speeches
In addition to the inscription behind the Lincoln Statue, two of Lincolns most famous speeches are inscribed on the north and south walls of the Lincoln memorial.

 

South Chamber: The Gettysburg Address
Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863 during the dedication ceremony for the Soldiers' National Cemetery. This address was selected for its familiarity to many, but also because it displayed the president's strength and determination to see a successful conclusion to the American Civil War. That successful conclusion meant not just reuniting the nation, but finishing what our founders had started. This nation must be one in which all were “…created equal" was the rule of law and of practice.
 
 
 


North Chamber: Second Inaugural Address
Lincoln's March 4, 1865 Second Inaugural Address was s
elected for the north chamber of the memorial. This speech, delivered just one month before the conclusion of the Civil War, creates the policy for reuniting the divided states. The reelected president firmly believed that the northern states should welcome their southern sisters and brothers back into the Union with open arms. But the feeling among many northerners at the end of the Civil War was anger toward the South for having left the Union. Lincoln's willingness to show compassion to the southern people, "…with malice towards none; charity for all," helped quell the hostility among northerners.
 
 

Last updated: May 31, 2017

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