At Lincoln's Tomb, Remembering A Fallen Son

Nov 20, 2013

Staff Sgt. Lincoln Hollinsaid was killed April 7, 2013, in Iraq. An Army engineer, he was driving a crane at the Baghdad airport when it was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Credit Illinois National Guard

A unique group of families met in Springfield Tuesday for their own commemoration of the Gettysburg Address. It's the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's speech consecrating a Civil War cemetery.

Nowadays, the most famous speech in American history is chiefly remembered for the quality of its rhetoric.

But for others, it's the substance of Lincoln's words that counts.

"We should notice the sacrifice given by our people in the military — whether they should die in battle or they give their time, their effort, and their families back home." says Dan Hollinsaid, speaking next to his wife Nancy, outside Lincoln's Tomb.

They have direct experience of the anguish that comes from what Lincoln called giving "the last full measure of devotion."

"It has been a 10-year journey for us, since we lost our son Lincoln in Iraq," he says. "He gave his life willingly for his country, and for us back home."

Staff Sgt. Lincoln Hollinsaid was among the first casualties of the Iraq war.

Later, the Hollinsaids and other Gold-Star families were invited to a luncheon at the Executive Mansion.

Illinois has lost more than 240 sons and daughters to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.