SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NNS) -- The first namesake visit for Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) came to a close April 6, 2014 ... as Lincoln Sailors packed their bags in Springfield, Ill., and returned to the ship in Newport News, Va.
The purpose of the Springfield visit was to reach out and connect with both President Abraham Lincoln's history and the people living in his homeland; to broaden their understanding of their namesake's legacy and bring that spirit back to the ship.
President Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, held the oval office from March 4, 1861 until his assassination April 15, 1865. Few remember that, for the majority of his administration, Lincoln presided more over war than peace.
Some would say that it was his assassination that vaulted him into greatness, including Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Jeremy Crandall, assigned to Lincoln.
"I think he was a good president, but would he have been as great if he had not died?" said Crandall. "I sometimes wonder how we would view him if he finished his time in office. Martyrdom has a way of unifying people into a single voice. He was a good man and I deeply respect him."
According to historians at The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Lincoln strived for great character and greater work ethic.
Through its presentations, visitors are immersed in historical multimedia experiences depicting a young boy who went from teaching himself to read by the light of a fireplace on a family farm to helping a nation overcoming one of our nation's most divisive social institutions in American history.
"Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this," said Lincoln at the Gettysburg Address Nov. 19, 1863.
Lincoln's thoughts on character, politics and family are numerous. At the museum, Sailors found his desire for a unified country in his writings and speeches; his commitment to unification to a deeply divided nation drove his compassion for the oppressed and hurting.
In his "House Divided" speech June 16, 1858, Lincoln said, "I believe this Government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided."
Despite the enormity of unifying a split nation, Lincoln never forgot caring for a nation should be reduced to caring for individual citizens.
His second inaugural address included the words, "let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan..."
Lincoln Sailors, in an effort to follow the president's compassion to serve others, visited St. John's Children's Hospital in Springfield to spend time building relationships on behalf of their ship.
"I loved talking with the kids and seeing them smile," said Engineman 3rd Class Katie Standish. "The staff told us the children love having visitors."
Earlier the same morning, Sailors paid their respects to the 16th president at his final resting place, the Lincoln Tomb and War Memorial State Historic Site. It was here they rendered a salute to the memory and legacy of their namesake, a man with humble beginnings who through hard work and ultimate sacrifice inspired a nation to rise out of one of the darkest seasons in American history.
"I didn't know that much about the president before I came here," said Ship's Serviceman 1st Class Marquita Canada. "However, when I get back I am definitely going to research more about his life."
Lincoln displayed the fortitude of the three Navy Core Values: honor, courage and commitment and it is the hope of the Lincoln Sailors from this ship to carry his character back to the command.
Lincoln is currently undergoing Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz class to undergo an RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation's defense.
By U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rusty Pang
Provided through DVIDS
Comment on this article