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(Re-)Discovering Lincoln

August 4, 2014

My kids and I just returned from an awesome vacation to the east coast.  We spent a couple of days in the Washington DC area before heading to the Williamsburg, VA area for a week.

It was a relaxing trip with lots of fun activities at the pool, mini-golf course and tennis courts, but it was also a very educational trip.  We saw the Washington monument, the Lincoln memorial, the White House, the Vietnam Vets memorial, the World War II memorial, Ford’s Theater where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, a couple of Smithsonian museums (U.S. History and Natural History), Arlington National Cemetery (tomb of the unknown soldier and Kennedy grave sites, the Pentagon, historic Jamestown settlement, Yorktown (where the British surrendered in the Revolutionary war), colonial Williamsburg, and finally, we stopped at Monticello – Thomas Jefferson’s home and grave site – on the way home.  Visiting such places brought history alive for me and my children in ways that text books could not.  I’m glad we were able to go. It was awesome.  It was profound.  I think my kids learned a lot and enjoyed the experiences.

washington1

Left to right: Canyon Novick, George Washington, Leslie Thomas, Ed Novick and Tess Novick; at Yorktown Victory Center

 

jefferson2

Left to right: Leslie Thomas, Ed Novick, Thomas Jefferson, Canyon Novick and Tess Novick; at Monticello

 

Having gone to the Lincoln memorial and Ford’s Theater, President Abraham Lincoln, one of my favorite presidents (along with Thomas Jefferson), was on my mind a lot.

While on Facebook back at home yesterday, a friend of mine had “Liked” a web page that had a colorized photo of Lincoln.  I checked it out and was amazed at it.  I may have seen the original photo before, but it was in black and white, and was very grainy and distant.  The colorized version of the photo was close and intimate and detailed and very real.  It seemed like Lincoln was no longer just a statuesque and immortal figure, but was very human, as was the nearby General McClellan.  I was able to save the photo and zoom in on details of it, and was amazed at the clarity and detail of it.  I could easily imagine what it would have been like to be there.  I felt like I was there the day the photo was taken and could relate to Lincoln like I was there.

Because I’ve been toying with making movie trailers for a few weeks now, I had a thought this morning to feature the photos in a movie trailer and share these amazing photos with the world in a fun and entertaining way on my blog.  I found another colorized photo of Lincoln and used the photos to make the following epic movie trailer and video.

In advance, I hope that no one is offended by the video or any elements of it.  I do push the limits of what we know and are used to a little.  I like to do that.  I like the creative process and exploring what is possible.

 

Most people don’t know what to make of the video.   Is it funny?  Is educational?  Is it making a statement?  Is it entertaining?

It’s a little of all of those things in my own personal brand of humor and creativity.  I feature the colorized photos.  I feature Lincoln.  I draw parallels between Lincoln and myself as we morph together in surprising fashion at the end of the video.  And, frankly, I self-promote a bit.

I hope I don’t offend anyone by the title: Discovering Lincoln (Has Joined The Coloreds).  I didn’t mean it as a racial offense.  I did think it was clever and a bit profound to note that by Lincoln now being in color he has made a leap from the past of “black” and “white” to the present of color and diversity, and I celebrate that 21st century America has come a long way to make the segregated and enslaved world of Lincoln’s day in the mid-1800’s to realize the dream so eloquently stated by Martin Luther King Jr. of an integrated modern world where  men are “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”.  We still have work to do in that regard, but can still celebrate how far we have come since the days the original photos of Lincoln were taken.

If you ever get a chance, you should go to the sites I mentioned in the first paragraph above.  It is life enriching to see the architecture and places, and to discover and remember the history, and the men who lived and died so that the United States of America could be a beacon of liberty and advancement to the world and inspire generations still yet to come.  Live visits to the sites, like colored photos and video on our modern day computer screens, help bring history alive, and help us realize that each of us are not only learning history, but WE ARE MAKING HISTORY BY WHAT WE DO TODAY…AND EVERY DAY.

Thomas Jefferson and Ed Novick at Monticello

May God always bless the United States of America.

 



 

 

 

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