Batesville resident given Distinguished Hoosier Award
Republicans rally at Lincoln Day event

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

‘ The reading of the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln aka Charles Dickman, was a fitting introduction for the Lincoln Day Dinner held Friday, April 20 at the Knights of Columbus Hall at Batesville.

A full house of Republicans gathered to hear State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. State Representative Cleo Duncan, along with Mourdock surprised Batesville resident Peggy Dickson by presenting the Governor’s prestigious Distinguished Hoosier Award to her. Dickson served as the City of Batesville’s clerk-treasurer for 12 years and is currently the vice chairman for the Republican Party of Ripley County. A tear slid down Dickson’s face as Duncan read words from the proclamation honoring her for her faithful service.

Treasurer Mourdock said he had attended 55 Lincoln Day dinners last year and 30 already this year. He noted that typically there are three kinds of speeches at these events: “Republican good - Democrat bad”; “I’m an Office Holder...”; and “Please elect me”. He went on to alert the crowd that his speech for the evening would be none of the above. Instead he gave a history lesson on some of Abraham Lincoln’s accomplishments.

Mourdock described Lincoln as “beyond any shadow of a doubt the greatest president.” At a time when our country was embroiled in a civil war, this popular president had a lot to sift through. Mourdock said history reveals there were 55,000 casualties in three days at the Battle of Gettsyburg. The draft was enacted with many killed in draft riots alone. People said the war, which was about ‘somebody’s freedom’ wasn’t worth it.

Mourdock reminded Hoosiers of many other wars...World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait and Iraq, saying they’re all about ‘somebody’s freedom.’ He referred to Congress’ recent feelings about the war that is presently being waged in Iraq. He noted there were several parallels between the war in 1863 and the one today.

The state treasurer shared that he had given this speech recently and someone walked up to him following the event and told him he’d feel differently about the war if he had some ‘skin’ involved. While he doesn’t have a son or daughter presently serving in the military, Mourdock said he does have six nieces and nephews whom he is very close to who are in the US military. Four have served in Iraq. They told him, “It’s worth it.”

“As Republicans we’re committed to make this nation the best on earth,” he told the crowd.
Ripley County Republican Chairman Kenny Copeland honored all veterans in attendance and recognized the large number of Republicans who hold offices in the county. He introduced those running for offices in May. He ended with “My God, don’t ever say we can’t win a war,” telling about the flag and the blood that has been shed to preserve freedom. “I’m a flag waving American and proud of it!” he passionately concluded the evening.

Presenting the Distinguished Hoosier Award from the Governor was State Representative Cleo Duncan, left, along with State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Peggy Dickson was surprised and honored to be the recipient. The award was given at the Lincoln Day Dinner held last Friday at the K of C at Batesville.