Today, April 15, is the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's assassination and it is a day we should all remember in sadness and loss. In my view Lincoln was our greatest president. He faced our deepest divide, the divide of race and slavery. He led us through a horrific, tragic war, and pushed through the Congress the proposed Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, finally finishing off slavery, but not ending constant attempts to diminish the rights of black citizens.
Remembering Lincoln's assassination, I recall reading how his casket slowly made its way back to Springfield, Illinois, the casket displayed at many places along the way, including the state Capitol in Albany, where crowds passed by his body through the night and the next morning.
I also remember the 4th of July, 1988, our first summer in Albany, when we joined the crowds that each 4th fill the Empire State Plaza to celebrate and to watch the fireworks on the Hudson, coming from boats in the Hudson, America's river of politics.
We were newcomers to Albany and we lived at the time on Willett Street, across from Washington Park, a park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the architect of Central Park. During the Civil War Washington Park served as a parade ground for training Union recruits preparing to enter the Civil War.
The ghost of our greatest president continues to haunt me and all of us.