Abraham Lincoln, who was 16th President in United States, is famous for many things, such as ideal of freedom, abolishing slavery, unifying divided nations, and so on but also famous for wearing this tall hat every time, even carrying notes, letters, and bills in this hat. He was also wearing this hat when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, who was a strong confederate sympathizer during the play ‘Our American Cousin’ in Ford Theater, on April 14, 1865. Although he was the tallest president, which height was 6-foot-4, he wore this hat in public in order to make him taller, that could not be missed in a crowd. The Battle of Fort Stevens in July, 1864 is a good example of wearing this Top Hat made him to become a spot in a crowd easily, that Carl Sandburg quoted “too tall a target.”
This hat is also the one that helped preventing Abraham Lincoln from assassination and save his life for one time. When he was on the horseback and on his way to the Soldiers’ Home, with his Top Hat on, in August, 1864, he was shot by assassin, near the road. Luckily, the bullet went through the hat by making a bullet hole, and saved his life. However, unfortunately, in the next attempt for his assassination, as it was mentioned above, it did not helped saving his life. And when he was shot and died, his hat was on the floor beside the chair he was sitting on.
Why this Abraham Lincoln’s Top Hat represents prolegomenon is that this symbolizes Abraham Lincoln, which he wore this hat in everywhere he have been, and became a big part of Lincoln’s life. He wore it “in war and peace, on the stump and in Washington DC, on occasions formal and informal, and during the night he was assassinated.” According to the book by Debbie Henderson named ‘The Top Hat: An Illustrated History of It`s Styling and Manufacture,’ she stated as “it had become the irrepressible symbol of prestige and authority.” He did not used this prestige and authority for him, but he used for America and civil rights. He declared to abolish the slavery, and made America as country that has equality and freedom to all, which confirmed and put American dreams that was corrupted and lost it’s true meaning for a while, right and properly.
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I interviewed my mom about the September 11 Attacks, which was held on 2001, and took place in World Trade Center (WTC), New York, NY, and while the interview, we had a chance to talk about what America should do, in order to become a greatest country in the world. At that time, I was 3 years old and we were living in College Station, Texas. This event that thousands of people lose their life showed and forewarned how many enemy do United States have and the war of United States is changing to the war with terror and invisible enemies. George Bush, who was the president of United States at that time, declared the War on Terrorism, and started the war with Afganistan, with a justification that they are hiding him. The country, whose the richest and has the strongest military power in the world had waged the war with the poorest country in the world. By this war it was able to kick out the anti-American power in Afganistan, but they did not caught Osama Bin Laden and turned the muzzle to Iraq, which was pointed out to a terrorism-sponsoring country, and the leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein.
As they started the Iraq war, in order to eliminate Hussein, Iraq finally surrendered to overly powerful American military power, and Saddam Hussein was also arrested, leading to Iraq being independent from dictatorial government. However, the weapons of mass destruction, which was the reason why United States declared the war, were not discovered and requested many other countries to send troops, but Bush Government gets into a difficult situation, due to the critical public opinion inside the United States, such as ‘It made many great American soldier had died,’ and so on. “Even on the worse, there are constant incident of suicide bomb terrorism, and attack toward Americans,.. Iraq war is not end yet. No, maybe the real war would be from right now.”
Along this, she also mentioned that “United States does not understand the concept of ‘Coexistence’ fully and also familiar with the dominating.” She also metaphor as “The rice bows as they grow ripe, whereas the Corn stands straight although they grow,” where rice representing Asia and the corn representing America.
Our ancestors left our hometown and moved to the unknown land only by the Pioneer spirit, and made a new country and fought with numerous hardships. Finally we won over the Soviet Union and became only one superpower country, However, in the example of Roman Empire, if there is no enough competitor, it starts to decline. As former president John F. Kennedy said, ‘The United States has to move very fast to even stand still.” We are pointing out China, which would become a main ‘enemy’ in the future and start preparing for that. China, which has strong cultural and population power, they could definitely become a fearful enemy to us. But, we have many problems to fight before fighting over China. Most of all, we have to reduce the gap between rich and poor, racial conflicts in America, and have to solve the conflict with the world seriously. As one of the American living in the United States with one of a minority race in America, we can not become a greatest country in the world, if we don`t learn cultural humility. However, although we are one of the cultural pluralist country in the world, we have a problem that we do not understand the culture that is out of ‘American,’ and not trying to understand. America is also the origin of globalization, but also the country that is not most globalized in the world.
By understanding various culture in the world, and learning cultural humility by acknowledging and respecting those, our country could at last become the world leader. Coexistence is not just possible with living together, but it is possible when we start respecting our neighbors , acknowledging, and not discriminating.