"The world will note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here." Fortunately the world did remember what Abraham Lincoln said there; unfortunately we are forgetting what they did there. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address reached out to a suffering nation that autumn day when he honored all "the brave men, living and dead, who struggled" in American's costliest war.
Barely one month after Governor Strickland issued a directive creating a statewide initiative to observe the Civil War (CW150), the state legislature eliminated the observance by drastically reducing the budget of the Ohio Historical Society. The historical society was designated as the coordinator of CW150 events in the state.
During the Civil War three of every five males in Ohio between the ages of 18 and 45 served in the conflict. Of these 320,000 men, 35,000 died and 30,000 more were disabled. On a more local level, besides contributing hundreds of men to the war effort, the Sandusky area's rich heritage includes serving as a northern terminus of the Underground Railroad and providing the site for the Confederate prison, Johnson's Island.
Today we rightfully recognize the sacrifices of those who served in World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East wars. We must be concerned that in not too many generations to come the contributions of these patriots too will be forgotten as are those of the Civil War soldier and sailor.
In these demanding times while our state leaders struggle with the present they must remember that more than ever we need to draw strength from those who overcame adversity in the past. Are we really willing to "forget what they did?"