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Remembering Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

3:00 PM, Mar 4, 2011 • By ANDREW FERGUSON
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In honor of the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, stop whatever irrelevant busywork you're engaged in and take a moment -- well, half an hour -- to read one of the greatest of presidential utterances. If your busywork won't wait half an hour, skip to the last paragraph. It's a boffo finish:

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

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