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My hero? Easy. Abraham Lincoln. Always and forever.
I admire his ambition to better himself, to learn to read and write when so many of the population did not. To overcome the loss of his mother at an early age and bond so readily with his stepmother. When his ambition led him to run for office and eventually the Presidency, the country could not have picked a better man during the worst time in this country’s history. It was a place in time that required someone exactly like him.
In four years, from 1861 to 1865, he aged from a hearty, mature man in his best years to a bent scarecrow. Worries ate at him until his bones showed through his skin. Too many decisions, too many against him. Vitriol lashed him from political enemies and sometimes his generals. The deaths of his sons, the loss of so many on the battlefields. How could it not weigh on his mind?
In the end, he might have felt the approach of death. Other assassination attempts on his life had failed but Hate can manifest into something almost visceral, an indescribably horrible burden.
Yet, he continued. Only by his will did he stand erect. Because surely the ambition of his younger days was long gone.
Abraham Lincoln gritted his teeth and continued. Prevailed.
And when he was killed, he truly “...Now belongs to the Ages.”