Perhaps a better Lincolnesque match to President Bush's 9/11 rhetoric comes from Lincoln's February 1860 Cooper Union speech. In this address, Lincoln marshalled the words and deeds of the Founding Fathers to demolish the "do nothing" attitude toward slavery of his rival, Stephen Douglas. A terrific speech that captivated thousands in audiences in New York and across New England, this address galvanized Lincoln's nomination for president three months later. Here is how he ended the speech, leaving his listeners whooping in delight:
"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."
And again, the conclusion to President Bush's speech from the five-year 9/11 anniversary:
"And we go forward with trust in that spirit, confidence in our purpose, and faith in a loving God who made us to be free."
It seems that everyone wants to be in Abraham's bosom these days...