150 years ago, a father of Liberty passed away. President Lincoln believed that all men are created equal and fought wholeheartedly for the United States' values.
In Switzerland the loss was deeply felt. For were the two countries not sister republics? Democracies among the monarchies of the 19th century? Their mutual influence was considerable before the American Revolution, and the US Constitution of 1787 inspired to a great extent the young federal Swiss nation of 1848. Two sister republics dedicated to the same ideal, both engaged in civil war – mercifully short in Switzerland, but long and terrible in America – testing whether each could long endure. Two nations whose leaders had the wisdom to create a future based on peace, through reconciliation and the sharing of power.
President Lincoln's assassination on 14 April 1865 caused an outpouring of emotion, as witnessed in the words of the Swiss government (i), the General Consul (ii) and the cantons (iii). Abraham Lincoln embodied the sense of duty, genuine concern for his fellow citizens, and the courage to show political commitment to his beliefs. Through his struggle to build one nation, to free men from their chains, he remains today a source of inspiration as a great statesman.
Contrary to his speech at Gettysburg, the world will long remember his words as well as his acts. He bestowed much glory on the sacrifices made in the name of Liberty. It is for us and our future generations to pursue the work so nobly advanced by our two nations. We must continue to ensure that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.