Fourth of July – the cost of liberty

Executive Mansion, Washington
November 21, 1864

Dear Madam:

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.

I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom. Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln

Letter to Mrs. Lydia Bixby, collected in The Gettysburg Address and Other Writings.


Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13.)


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5 Responses to Fourth of July – the cost of liberty

  1. Bev Murrill says:

    That guy knew how to be real… What words could alleviate such great pain.

  2. Jeannie says:

    The wisdom and humility shown in that letter speak volumes.

  3. Brian says:

    WOW !! as a Canadian who loves his own country I have to tell you I am always touched to the the depths of my being whenever I read the countless stories of Patriotism and Heroism and tremendous acts of Charity that flow out of your amazing is no wonder so many people are passionate as the Godly foundations found throughout your charters are being chiseled away by seclurasism it seems all we have left for both our countries is prayer and to live loud with acts of love in wisdom only found as a true follower of Jesus.

  4. What a touching letter. How apt. A thoughtful and poignant post. Happy Independence Day to you, Tim, and to all your fellow Americans.

  5. Pastor Bob says:

    That was awesome.

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