As our beloved country marks its 240th birthday, I'm not alone in feeling that we occupy a moment of great turmoil and testing as a nation. Maybe we've taken the wonders and blessings of our country for granted, never thinking the grand experiment of our Founding Fathers, so dependent for its endurance upon mutual decency, respect and self-discipline, could ever really fall into disrepair.
Throughout history our republic has faced other extraordinary threats to our freedom, our existence as a nation and our system of self-government. But in those times, by the grace of God, the nation has been blessed with the emergence of good and courageous men and women of character and fortitude who have led "this last best hope of man on Earth" through harm's way.
One of the most profound examples of such leadership was provided by Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party and, many would say, our most distinguished president. But Lincoln was not always perceived that way.