Congressman Hill represents Indiana's 9th District. First elected in 1998, Rep. Hill is a leading advocate on education. He authored the Smaller Schools, Stronger Communities Act encouraging funding and smaller classrooms. His legislation is based on research that concludes children learn better and are safer in schools where they feel connected to each other and to their teachers and administrators. Rep. Hill also serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Science and Technology Committee. He is also an Advisory Board Council member of the ALBC.
Below are his remarks from the Lincoln Mother's Day Celebration at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City, IN.
Let me first of all begin by saying how impressed I am with everybody to show up on a nasty day like we have today. It is indicative of your toughness, I might add. You know they had a bad day on an occasion like this in Kentucky, it was last year as a matter of fact, or the first part of this year, and they had to cancel the event. At least we kept this one going. I like to think that President Lincoln’s father knew that Hoosiers were a little tougher over here and so he decided to move them across the river, don’t you agree?
Abraham Lincoln, as the Governor has already mentioned, evolved in this place. I don’t know how you feel, but I can almost feel his presence still here. This is where he learned, this is where he became the man that he was, not in Kentucky, not in Illinois, but right here on the ground that we presently occupy. I don’t think there is any argument, at least in my mind, that President Lincoln was the greatest president of all the presidents that we have had in the United States. And much of it is due, quite frankly, if you ever have read any of the books that have been written about President Lincoln, was because of his mother. I might add his two mothers: Nancy Hanks, of course, is buried here at the National Memorial, and she had a tremendous influence on his life. He only had her for nine years; she died of course when he was nine years old. But it is interesting to me that his stepmother, of a year later, Sarah Bush Johnston, also had a profound influence upon President Lincoln. Now if you’ve also read history, many authors believe that the President did not get along very well with his father. But he admired and respected his mothers.
And so today it is proper and fitting that we pause to remember who formed Abraham Lincoln. It was his mothers, on this Mother’s Day we recognize that. I know that we had a little Mother’s Day celebration when I left home this morning. I have three daughters, and they all came in to visit with my wife and their mother. And I know what a tremendous influence she had on my children’s life. I was kind of like President Lincoln’s father; I didn’t have much influence on my daughters. I give all the credit to my lovely wife. But it is proper and fitting that we recognize the two people who influenced President Lincoln the most, and that was Nancy Hanks and Sarah Johnston.
So to all the mothers out there who have also had an influence on your children, I hope that you’ll think back to how much influence you have had over your children and your grandchildren. We celebrate Mother’s Day today, we celebrate President Lincoln, but most importantly we celebrate the mothers of President Lincoln. And with that I want to say thank you to all the mothers who have come here today and toughened out the weather to celebrate the life of President Lincoln and his two mothers.