Greatest American President

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count.
It’s the life in your years.”
Abraham Lincoln
Greatest American President


On this day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States. He won the election over a deeply divided Democratic Party, becoming the first Republican to win the presidency.

Although Lincoln received only 40 percent of the popular vote, he defeated the three other candidates: Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Constitutional Union candidate John Bell, and Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas, a U.S. senator for Illinois.

President Lincoln is best known for ending slavery. However, Lincoln’s service as president is also notable for the day of thanksgiving he proclaimed on the last Thursday of November 1864. America’s modern Thanksgiving holiday dates from that first national observation.

I believe President Lincoln will forever be remembered as one of the greatest American presidents.

Shine On

Our Men of Honor

“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces,
but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”
John F. Kennedy

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. This nineteen-foot tall statue of Abraham Lincoln emerged from the design of Massachusetts sculptor Daniel Chester French whose attention to detail, accuracy, and composition created a masterpiece.

Today, March 3, 1865 marks the 150th anniversary of the day President Abraham Lincoln signed a law to establish a national soldiers and sailors asylum. It was signed a month before the Civil War ended and the day before his second inauguration. Its roots can be traced back to 1636, when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians.

The Pilgrims passed a law that stated that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony. Later, the Continental Congress of 1776 encouraged enlistments during the Revolutionary War, providing pensions to disabled soldiers. In the early days of the Republic, individual states and communities provided direct medical and hospital care to Veterans. Then, in 1811, the federal government authorized the first domiciliary and medical facility for Veterans. Also in the 19th century, the nation’s Veterans assistance program was expanded to include benefits and pensions not only for Veterans, but for their widows and dependents.

Home for Disabled Veterans

An illustration of the Milwaukee location of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, from the 1885 edition of the Wisconsin Blue Book.

It wasn’t until 1873 that the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers was established. It was the first-ever government institution created specifically for honorably discharged volunteer soldiers. The first national home opened November 1, 1866, near Augusta, Maine. These national homes were often called “soldiers’ homes” or “military homes,” and only soldiers who fought for the Union Army—including U.S. Colored Troops—were eligible for admittance.

The sprawling campuses became the template for future generations of federal Veterans’ hospitals. Because of President Lincoln, today the United States has the most comprehensive system of assistance for Veterans of any nation in the world.

Thank you President Lincoln for being the first in our government to have the compassion and the forethought to look after all of our past, present and future war veterans. Our men of honor.

Shine On

Laughter is the Best Medicine

A day without laughter is a day wasted.”
Charlie Chaplin

Danny Kaye

The great Danny Kaye as Walter Mitty

A sincere compliment can really boost ones morale. I’m not one who demands constant attention or praise. But, it sure is nice to hear, “good job” once in a while. I always have showered my son and husband with compliments. Whenever I accomplish a major hurdle, my son is always the first to give me a compliment.

After 20+ years living together, I’ve come to realize it’s just not my husbands style to give out compliments easily. I guess my husband’s style is more akin to Don Rickles than Johnny Carson.

A few years back I suggested my husband “get in touch with his feminine side”. So one day he said something that was showing his feelings. When he realized this, he stopped and pointed out to me that, “he was getting in contact with his feminine side”.

He may not dish out kudos or compliments easily, but he makes me laugh. To me, that’s more important than any compliment he could ever give me. When I’m feeling low, I can always count on him to make me laugh.

Fishing for compliments has never been something I’ve ever had to do. And I’m not planning on starting this late in life. Besides, I’d much rather be with someone who makes me laugh, because as the old proverb says, “laughter is the best medicine”.

Shine On