President Abraham Lincoln would have celebrated his 210th birthday on Tuesday. Military veteran groups and politicians gathered in Springfield to mark the occasion and laid wreaths at the 16th President’s tomb.
One by one, scores of veterans from groups like the American Legion filed into the ornate marble room that is President Lincoln’s final resting place. They gave salutes to the former Illinoisan who kept the nation together in one of its darkest hours.
Among those who paid their respects was Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker. He alluded to Illinois’ fiscal troubles in a speech he gave to the crowd.
“We face real and urgent challenges in our state," he said. "I pledge that I will move forward following Lincoln’s legacy of intellect and empathy.”
Pritzker used the occasion to tell reporters he wants a multi-year solution to Illinois’ fiscal problems, one that would include new taxes from legalized sports gambling and marijuana. He didn’t say how or if those would be factored into this year’s state budget.
The Democrat will give his first budget address next week.
In the speech he gave Tuesday, Pritzker drew comparisons between Illinois’ fiscal troubles and the Civil War, and says he plans to follow Lincoln’s example.
"Lincoln chose to place his hope in the ultimate good of the American people, and for as long as I’m so fortunate as to serve as governor, I place my confidence in the ultimate justice of the people."
This year’s ceremony was the 85th at the Lincoln Tomb. Also among the attendees was a special military envoy from President Donald Trump.