"The Twin Lights of Life and Liberty"
by Lyndon Perry
Today, Life and Liberty stand guard at the door – two lights that bear witness to that fateful Friday when one dimmed and the other fought to uphold their hard won victory. This is a scene from their ongoing story.
Familiar with the actor who walked their hall, two lights cast a friendly spotlight on the man who entered the State Box earlier that day. They wondered about his examination, but knowing they would welcome an important guest that evening the lights simply glowed in silence.
When the patrons arrived for Our American Cousin, Life and Liberty shone brightly in anticipation. In high spirits, the President's party and police escort entered Ford's Theatre at 8:30. In the hallway, two lamps seemed to join in the applause of the audience.
The bodyguard eventually left his post abandoning the two lights to stand watch by themselves. Then, at 10:15, the actor returned.
Slowly, he opened the door and, hidden in flickering shadows, strode to Lincoln's chair. Laughter masked his entry and nearly drowned the derringer's report. The lights blazed in alarm as they witnessed John Wilkes Booth kill the President of the United States.
With a shout it was over. The actor leapt to the stage and made his escape. Life faded quickly that night while Liberty took up the struggle against tyranny once more. The outcome was not guaranteed, but in the end Liberty would own the actor's boast: "Sic Semper Tyrannis."
Thus Life and Liberty still shine...for now.