A Time for Quiet with Mr. Lincoln


I’m in Disney mode, apparently, and one thing that I left with was a reinforced love for my country. Thank you, Walt Disney. Thank you for Mr. Lincoln.

The "Opera House" Main Street, Disneyland

Walt Disney’s original vision was to create a Hall of Presidents, called “One Nation Under God” – complete with wax and animatronic figures of every single president.  However, Walt’s dream was not technologically attainable at the time.  Instead he focused on the 16th President – his hero – Abraham Lincoln, and sought to create the most advanced audio-animatronic figure in human form.  We all know, that he did.

Since his death, the attraction “Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln” has been revamped a few times, constantly being updated with new technology.  The Abe Lincoln you’ll see today is the most advanced, humanlike audio-animatronic figure at the “happiest place on Earth”, itself.  Based off of the Broadway actor Royal Dano’s portrayal, also lending Lincoln his voice, the Lincoln figure was actually sculpted using a copy of a life mask of Lincoln himself.  Needless to say, the experience is remarkable.

It is easy to overlook “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” when it is tucked away at the beginning of Main Street and the lure of fantasy adventures, space travel, thrills, treats, sweets, pirates, music, parades, spectacle, and excitement await.  But next time you’re there, set aside half an hour for our 16th President.  Watch the pre-show, enjoy the air conditioning, and take a moment to listen and think about these words.  It needs no explanation to say that this compilation of Lincoln’s speeches is nothing short of prophetic and nothing short of exactly what we all need to hear right about now.

The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.

What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not our frowning embattlements, our bristling sea coasts. These are not our reliance against tyranny. Our reliance is in the love of liberty, which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by [the] menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some trans-Atlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined could not, by force, take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, that if it ever reach us, it must spring from amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be the authors and finishers. As a nation of free men, we must live through all times, or die by suicide.

Let reverence for the law be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in primers, in spelling-books, and almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay of all sexes and tongues and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly at its altars.

And let us strive to deserve, as far as mortals may, the continued care of Divine Providence, trusting that, in future national emergencies, He will not fail to provide us the instruments of safety and security.”

Lincoln giving his speech in the "Rotunda"

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