INDIANAPOLIS, In. – Saturday, April 29 marks the 158th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train’s solemn journey through the Hoosier State, where an estimated 100,000 mourners braved torrential rains to pay their last respects. This year, on Sat., April 29, Westfield-based nonprofit The Lincoln Special, in cooperation with Springfield’s Lincoln Presidential Foundation, will host three free commemoration events open to the public as part of The Lincoln Special’s mission to help lower the temperature of incivility and discourse.
The daylong commemoration begins at 11 a.m. at the Indiana Statehouse, where world renowned Lincoln presenter Fritz Klein will portray the 16th president as part of an “AMA” (Ask Me Anything) event. From the Statehouse, the event continues at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument for an honorary wreath laying ceremony at 12 p.m, and concludes in Cambridge City Indiana at 3pm for a final appearance.
“We are delighted to help Chris spread the word about these events," added Erin Mast, CEO, Lincoln Presidential Foundation. “Abraham Lincoln is considered an exemplar of U.S. presidential leadership and our country’s ‘experiment’ in self-governance. This event is a chance to consider his impact and our own role in that experiment.” Klein’s impeccable interpretations of Lincoln have been featured in Time Magazine, The Smithsonian Channel and The History Channel, as well as multiple C-SPAN presentations.
“It wasn’t just Lincoln’s body that came through here,” explained Allen. “It was everything Lincoln stood for—the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment, and the Gettysburg Address—that came through here.”
The daylong event concludes in Cambridge City at 3 p.m., along the same rail bed traversed by the Lincoln Funeral Train in 1865. There, Klein as Lincoln will deliver a rendition of Lincoln’s Farewell Address, along with the “AMA” style of questions for the public.
“I know our ancestors would have given anything to give their thanks directly to President Lincoln and this is their chance, albeit through us, their descendants.” concluded Allen. “History has an echo. Our task is to make it heard.”
The Lincoln Special is an IRS approved 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Westfield, Indiana. For more information, please visit www.tearsandiron.com or call Executive Director Chris Allen at (317) 967.6190.