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Abraham Lincoln Mothers Day Tribute
May 11, 2008

Indiana’s celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday kicked off with a Mother’s Day Bicentennial program on Sunday, May 11, 2008, at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial near Lincoln City.

Lincoln Mother’s Day Bicentennial Program

Despite blustery conditions and wet weather, an estimated 500 to 600 people turned out to honor Lincoln and the influential women in his life.

Lincoln once said, “All I am, or can be, I owe to my angel mother.” This special ceremony highlighted the influence the women in Lincoln’s life had on the development of his character.

In her keynote address, ALBC Commissioner Joan Flinspach described the daily life of pioneer women – the hard work, the isolation, the hardships, and courage.  She described how through their example, Lincoln developed the characteristics for which he is admired and emulated.

Joan Flinspach’s Remarks

Other speakers included Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, U.S. Congressman Baron Hill, ALBC IN Mothers Day platformCommissioner Darrel Bigham, and park superintendent Randy Wester.  Connie Nass, chair of the Indiana Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and Patricia Koch from nearby Holiday World Park, also spoke.

Music was provided by the Red Bank Reunion Band, which plays 19th century music with period instruments, and the Celebration Singers, a volunteer community choir from Southern Indiana.  Sheila Billings performed a piece called “Nancy Hanks.”

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial preserves the site of the farm where Abraham Lincoln spent 14 formative years of his life, from the ages of 7 to 21. He and his family moved to Indiana in 1816 and stayed until 1830 when they moved on to Illinois. His mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, is buried in a pioneer cemetery located on this property.  Lincoln’s sister, Sara Lincoln Grigsby is buried at nearby Lincoln State Park.

This event was the second national signature event sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. It also served as the statewide Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration kick-off for the Indiana Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Click to see the Mother’s Day Celebration Program.

Coinciding with this event thousands of area Boy and Girl Scouts took part in a weekend campout at Lincoln Boyhood, Lincoln State Park and Buffalo Run Farm. The scouts learned about Lincoln’s time spent in Indiana by taking part in a variety of pioneer activities and demonstrations.