While on a business trip to Springfield, IL I had a few hours to kill. I was with a couple associates and we were racking our brains with anything we could do to spend our free time. A quick search showed we weren't too far from Abraham Lincoln's Tomb. This is a monument erected in honor of the President. His body actually rests at the site.
As we were driving up the monument exceeded expectations. I half expected to see a grave marker and maybe a small monument. None of us thought we would see a massive monument a small museum built up to this great man.
One of the delights of this short trip was talking with the groundskeeper. I would highly recommend this. He has a lot of time on his hands every day to devote time and attention to learning everything Lincoln. He was very knowledgable and was a great resource in helping us understand the historical significance of this monument as well as the different phases it has been through.
One of the really cool aspects of this monument is that Lincoln's entire family is burried here. It is a crypt in their honor. When you walk in through the door there are hallways that lead through the tomb to where the grave markers are. There is the famous quote on the wall behind the grave marker, "Now He belongs to the ages."
This site fully exceeded expectations and gave us something fun to do. I was particularly touched by the Gettysburg Address they have posted at the entrance to the tomb. This is one address that President Lincoln is best known for. I love the last paragraph of that address and it sent chills down my spine as I stood in that quiet cemetary reading this great tribute to a great man:
"The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forge what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
This marker is where the original tomb was built. It has been moved a few hundred feet away from the original location. People put pennies on this marker in memory of the President.
The true wonder of this site is walking around the grounds. It is a large and picturesque cemetary. There is a lot to see and there are some impressive tombstones. It is a great place to ponder and think. It is isolated from noise and distractions. I would highly recommend this as a place to spend an hour or two. If you are driving through Springfield or staying for any reason make the extra effort to stop. You won't be dissapointed.