from the UK and across the globe offer sincere condolences to the families
of the victims of the 11th September tragedies from last year in New York,
Washington and Pennsylvania.
Letter from Abraham Lincoln
I have been
shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General
of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously
on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of
mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming.
But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found
in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our heavenly
Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the
cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be
yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
sincerely and respectfully,
From the Collected
Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VIII, "Letter to
Mrs. Lydia Bixby" (November 21, 1864), pp. 116-117.