• Jerry Plantz: The legacy of our 16th president

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  • Lincoln lives! His magnificent legacy shines even brighter.
    Since the release of Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster movie, “Lincoln,” there has been an inordinate amount of Lincoln history, vintage Lincoln movies, an opera and award shows on television.
    It is estimated that there are 15,000 published items written about this presidential martyr.
    The book “Lincoln At Gettysburg” was a gift on Sept. 27, 2001 by my retired grade school teacher Sister Mary Janet following my speaking engagement at the candlelight ceremony for the victims of United Flight 93 in Somerset County, Pa.
    It inspired me to write “Two Hundred And Seventy-Two Words” and “Act Three Scene Two,” the former, a poem about Gettysburg, the latter, the night of his assassination at Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865 while watching the play “Our American Cousin.”
    The popular play was a comedic farce about a boorish American who travels to England to claim his inheritance.
    History records the last visual the president saw and heard before that black moment when John Wilkes Booth aimed his derringer.
    According to Wikipedia, actor Harry Hawk, utters a line, considered one of the play’s funniest, to Mrs. Mountchessington: “Don’t know the manners of good society, eh? Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, old gal – you sockdologizing old man-trap.”
    Then laughter, then a shot in
    Act three, scene two
    On this historic Christian day
    Of a man on a cross
    Who died to lead the way.
    Act three, scene two
    Laughter filled the night
    But a powder keg of doom
    Was ready to ignite.
    Act three, scene two
    The finale of a man
    An incomplete play
    An evil treacherous hand.
    Act three, scene two
    A play to make one laugh
    Not tonight, not ever more
    For a country tom in half.
    Act three, scene two
    Was the last view with his wife
    As he smiled upon an actor
    While another took his life.
    Act three, scene two
    In 1865
    From a Derringer .44
    From a cause barely alive.
    Act three, scene two
    The villain took the stage
    Spewing forth his deed
    Then fled in fit of rage.
    Act three, scene two
    The specter of death drew near
    To claim a president
    That history would endear.
    Act three, scene two
    The finale of a man
    The beginning of a legend
    The Union still does stand.
    Page 2 of 2 - Jerry Plantz lives in Lee’s Summit. His website is at www.Jerryplantz.com. Reach him at jerryplantz@msn.com.

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