The great Winston Churchill once said, “Those who are unable to look back are unable to look forward.” For America to move into the future with our liberty intact, we must look backward and remember the principles of freedom upon which our country was built.
Looking backward is how Abraham Lincoln led America through the Civil War, one of our country’s darkest, most divisive, and bloodiest time periods. To keep the nation pointed in the right direction, Lincoln continually reminded the country of our noble beginnings.
In his famous Gettysburg Address, for example, Lincoln proclaimed that a just and righteous cause was at stake because, “Our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Lincoln and Churchill’s admonitions to move forward by looking backward still ring true today. If we forget our nation’s noble calling, we are in trouble. It’s because we have remembered our beginnings that our Constitution has endured longer than any in human history.
Our nation has been a stumbling journey forward, but it has been forward. Every generation has learned from both the victories and the mistakes of every previous generation. As they used their freedom to advance freedom for others, so must we.
Whatever our country’s divisions, the way forward is always to look back.