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Warm Reception Welcomes Lincoln Back To Peekskill

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. - It was 151 years ago that Abraham Lincoln visited the city on the way to his inauguration, but on Saturday area residents showed they still cared.

President Abraham Lincoln (played by former Peekskill High School history teacher Mike Griest) arrived at the Metro North station at 11 a.m. where he was welcomed by member of the Peekskill Lincoln Society, city and county officials, Civil War reenactors, area Boy Scouts and a color guard from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The group escorted Griest as Lincoln in a short parade from the station down Water Street to the site of the Lincoln Depot building, where he delivered the very same speech Lincoln gave 151 years ago.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I have but a moment to stand before you to listen to and return your kind greeting," the speech began. "I thank you for this reception, and for the pleasant manner in which it is tendered to me by our mutual friends.

"I will say in a single sentence, in regard to the difficulties that lie before me and our beloved country, that if I can only be as generously and unanimously sustained as the demonstration I have witnessed indicate I shall be, I shall not fail; but without your sustaining hands I am sure that neither I nor any other man can hope to surmount these difficulties. I trust in the course I shall pursue. I shall be sustained not only by the party that elected me, but by the patriotic people of the whole country"

Video of the Lincoln presentation Saturday can be viewed here .

Other speakers at the event included Lincoln Society President Tony Seideman, County Legislator and Lincoln Depot Society President John Testa, Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster and State Sen. Greg Ball (R-C Patterson), who hosted a free barbeque for residents following the event.

To view over 180 photos from Saturday's event check out The Daily Peekskill Flickr page here and check back on Monday for more much coverage of this weekend's event.

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