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    ďIn this Temple, as in the hearts of the people, for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.Ē That was the first thing I noticed when I entered the actual temple. And it really is a temple. This majestic building houses  the memory of the United Statesí 16th president. His 19 ft. tall statue sits in silence as he gazed over the National Mall, all the way over to the Washington Monument. This memorial is located at the West end of the National Mall, and has served as a place for political rallies and protests over the years. The most notorious of all speeches ever delivered here is undoubtedly the ďI Have A DreamĒ speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the March for Washington D.C. in 1963. The Northern wall in the inside of the building contains an inscription of Lincolnís second Inaugural Address, while the Southern wall contains Lincolnís immortal Gettysburg Address.

            The construction of this building began February 12th, 1914. The building was finished and finally dedicated may 30th, 1922. The name of its actual location is Potomac Park. The Architect in charge of designing the building was Henry Bacon. There are 36 Doric columns in the Lincoln Memorial, all of which represent the 36 states of the Union by the time of Lincolnís death. Because of the memorial being finished in 1922, when there were 48 states in the Union, those 48 names were carved on the outside of the building. Plaques were then added containing the names of Alaska and Hawaii, after they were each respectively added to the united States of America. The actual edifice is 99 ft. tall. The statue of Lincoln was sculpted by Daniel Chester French, but the murals were done by Jules Guerin. If Lincoln's statue was standing up, it would be 28 feet tall. The type of stone used to construct the outside of the building is marble extracted from Colorado. The type of stone used for the edification of the columns is limestone from Indiana, and Lincolnís statue is carved out of marble from Colorado. There are 87 steps from the reflecting pool in front of the memorial, all the way up to Lincoln himself.

            The Lincoln Monument Association was formed by Congress two years after Lincolnís assassination in 1865, but it wasnít until the year 1901 when the site for the creation was actually selected. In 1911, the Lincoln Memorial Bill was signed by president William Howard Taft, who authorized the 2 million dollar fund necessary to complete this project. Lincoln really does deserve a memorial as grand as the one in existence today. The Great Emancipator kept the United States of America alive and as one indivisible nation. All of this you can feel when you stand below Lincolnís overpowering gaze. The look on his face is stern and firm, but it gives off a kind of warmth that makes you feel welcome by the statue. Needless to say, I could feel Abraham Lincolnís presence in the building, serenely keeping an eye out on his countryís progress. I really liked the fact that the artists and architects involved in the realization of this temple decided to inscribe the Gettysburg Address and Lincolnís Second Inaugural Address into the buildingís walls. That way, I got a chance to read the words of a great man, right next to the great man who once spoke them in front of immense audiences, audiences that represented the entire United States.

 

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