National Commander Clarence E. Hill delivers a radio address at President Lincoln's tomb in Springfield, Illinois, Friday morning. Photo by John Raughter

Legion remembers Lincoln's promise

During a visit to the tomb of 16th President Abraham Lincoln on his birthday, American Legion National Commander Clarence E. Hill repeated a promise from the president’s second inaugural address.

“Two score and 14 years before our organization was founded, President Lincoln summed up the reason why The American Legion would one day be needed,” Hill said in a radio address he delivered at Lincoln’s final resting place. “’To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.’ These 17 words, taken from President Lincoln’s second inaugural address, have been adopted as a motto for the Department of Veterans Affairs. While nobody denies that the VA has its problems, it does provide excellent care. Moreover, The American Legion is proud of its advocacy of today’s veterans, and its work to ensure that the VA lives up to Lincoln’s solemn promise.”

Visits to the tomb by national commanders have become a tradition in the past, and this year marks the 76th annual American Legion Lincoln Day Pilgrimage. After Hill’s visit to the tomb, he continued the theme to hundreds of American Legion family members during a luncheon hosted by Springfield American Legion Post 32.

“With the times, we have expanded (Lincoln’s) commitment to also include caring for her who shall have borne the battle and for her widower and her orphan,” Hill said. “The demographic of the American veteran is changing. We now have a much more diverse veterans’ population than in past generations. This diversity includes a growing and significant number of women veterans who sacrifice no less than their male counterparts. In this war without a front, there are no safe areas. As such, women who historically were not severely wounded in great numbers during previous conflicts are now returning home with limbs missing, terrible burns or blindness.

“We advocate for a strong Department of Veterans Affairs that not only treats common war ailments such as post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and severe burns, but also addresses breast and cervical cancer, sexual trauma and maternity care,” Hill continued. “The American Legion family will be there for all of our veterans because that is what we do.”

Hill pointed to President Obama’s signing of a law last October, which enacted advance funding for VA appropriations, as an example of Legion advocacy that made a difference. “Now, the VA knows a year in advance what resources will be available so it can plan accordingly. Advance appropriations will go a long way toward minimizing compromises in the delivery of the high quality health care our veterans expect and deserve.”

Despite significant legislative successes, Hill stressed that The American Legion’s advocacy is still needed. He called the huge backlog of veterans waiting for VA compensation, “one aspect of President Lincoln’s promise that remains unfulfilled.”

 

31 Comments

  1. Several of our students participated in the essay contest but were disappointed when we contacted our local American Legion and were told they weren't participating. In response we have tentatively scheduled U.S. Rep. Scott Perry to recognize these students for their efforts and look forward to having him honor these students as both a member of the United States House of Representatives and a veteran. Hoping this type of participation continues as we model for our children the future and reflect for them the past. Thank you to US Rep. Scott Perry for his time and willingness to assist in this project and for serving our country both as a veteran and an elected member of Congress.
  2. I also want to say that if people think that this is a joke, they are wrong. You people need to grow up!!
  3. I am doing a essay on Abe Lincoln's promise to our veterans and their families too, and I want everyone to know that Abe Lincoln is an amazing man and deserves to be shown in our world like what these students all around the world are doing. I am just so excited to being able to learn all about Abe Lincoln's promise.
  4. Thank you Veterans for your great contribution to our country. I would not feel safe if it wouldn't have been for you!!
  5. I'm just putting my opinion out there, so I do not want to see any hate on this for me. For just wanting to state my opinion. Veterans aren't bad people. To many people they are the ones that risked their lives to get our freedom, but in all reality more than half of our veterans were forced to go. They were drafted and had no choice. Killing other people is not right at any point in time. I don't care if they are the craziest person in the whole world. That does not mean that anyone has the right to kill a person. I can see now days for thanking the people that are volunteering to go into the army, because now they have a choice. They have enough people that volunteer, so they don't have to have a draft. The thought though to thank people that killed others for no reason, just because of a couple other people's problem. How can people go on living knowing that they could have killed an innocent person with a family and children. This contains to both sides that fought. I was just saying my opinion. I do believe that they should get something in return for what they did. Considering more than half were forced to go.
  6. I'm just putting my opinion out there, so I do not want to see any hate on this for me. For just wanting to state my opinion. Veterans aren't bad people. To many people they are the ones that risked their lives to get our freedom, but in all reality more than half of our veterans were forced to go. They were drafted and had no choice. Killing other people is not right at any point in time. I don't care if they are the craziest person in the whole world. That does not mean that anyone has the right to kill a person. I can see now days for thanking the people that are volunteering to go into the army, because now they have a choice. They have enough people that volunteer, so they don't have to have a draft. The thought though to thank people that killed others for no reason, just because of a couple other people's problem. How can people go on living knowing that they could have killed an innocent person with a family and children. This contains to both sides that fought. I was just saying my opinion. I do believe that they should get something in return for what they did. Considering more than half were forced to go.
  7. I'm doing a 150-250 word essay for my school on how to keep lincoln's promise so please reply if you want to help me :)
  8. I'm doing a 350 to 400 word essay for my school on Americanism so good luck man hope you get to finish it and if you have any help for me pleas rep lie.
  9. r u doing the Americanism one? im doing that too but i have to do 350-400 words
  10. Hey!! We love our veterans so much!!!☺️❣ ive got a essay to do on how i can keep licon. Promise to our veterans an there families an its do tomorrow so anyone please reply an help me thanks!!
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