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Adair 8th grader, Blake Aaron, 3rd in Lincoln speech competition

ACMS student takes honors in statewide contest held at Hodgenville, KY. Event sponsored by Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
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An eighth grade student at Adair County Middle School, Blake Aaron, won third place in the statewide speech contest sponsored by the Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Aaron, the son of Barbara Shepherd and Dr. Phil Aaron, won $100 for third place, awarded February 2, 2008, in Hodgenville, KY.

Students selected from a variety of topics about Lincoln's life, researched, wrote their speech, then delivered it in competition before representatives of the National Historic Site. According to Blake, "It was an honor to compete with students from across the state. They had really done their research. It was a treat to hear their delivery," he said.

The following is a copy of the speech prepared by Blake Aaron:

Happy birthday, Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln is considered by many to have been the greatest American President. His personal history is a rags-to-riches story. Born into a poor Kentucky family, he learned to read by the light of an open fire and was mostly self-educated. He had little formal schooling, but he had a great capacity for growth. He was a bookworm and whenever he was around people or books, they would cause him great pleasure. He became educated by never being ashamed to confess his ignorance and by asking questions.

He was a champion of people who had gone through similar plights like he had. For example, he had a burning sympathy for plain people struggling against the odds. This led to him being a profound humanitarian and champion of emancipation. A president with empathy, he was often devastated over the plight of the desperate. The great persuader, he possessed a firm resolve and was patient in his efforts to address problems. As presiddent, he faced the lost of life, battlefield setbacks, generals unready to fight, and assassination threats on his life.

His entire presidency dealt with the conduct of the Civil War. The war broke out about a month after his inauguration. He was assassinated five days after the end of the Civil War. Carl Sandburg, the historian and poet, said Lincoln was a dreamer endowed with a New Testament patience and an Old Testament stubbornness. He possessed a dogged perseverance, a perseverance to preserve the Union and on his point would not compromise. In his Gettysburg Address, perhaps his most famous piece of writing, he called on on those living to finish the task that the dead soldiers had begun--to preserve our United States of America.

In his personal life, he dealt with depression or the term used in that time, Melon-Coli. He learned to cope with it by avoiding idleness and staying busy. He coped with the depression and the pressures of his office by using wit, humor and stories, which were powerful, and to the point. As we read Abraham Lincoln we realize that he was very much a common man. It was this commonness, this wholesomeness, which made him great.

When I think about Lincoln, I think of a man that put his Country before himself, a man that was deeply involved in the preservation of America. He was a man that cared more for the prosperity of his nation than anything else on his agenda. He brought his southern Kentucky hospitality into the oval office and led America through hard times. All of these characteristics describe our 16th president -- Abraham Lincoln.
Blake is pledging his $100 prize to the Adair County Relay for Life.

Winners of the competition will receive their prizes during the bicentennial celebration at the national historic site in Hodgenville, KY, on Tuesday, February 12, 2008.

At the celebration, President George Bush will speak and plant a tree to commemorate Lincoln's 200th birthday. The newly elected Governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, and other dignitaries will also speak.


This story was posted on 2008-02-05 03:03:05
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Blake Aaron presents Abraham Lincoln speech

2008-02-04 .
BLAKE AARON an eighth grader at Adair County Middle School, delivered his speech on Abraham Lincoln, which won 3rd Place Statewide in a contest sponsored by the Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial Commission on February 2, 2008, in Hodgenville, KY.

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