There are some people who are discouraged that America has never been more divided than it is now by sharply different political beliefs. But that is not true. Americans have overcome other periods of sharp division and none more serious than the period before and during the Civil War. In his first Inaugural Address, President Abraham Lincoln expressed his hope that the war could still be avoided. His closing remarks below speak wisdom to us from his time to ours.
"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."