You always remember where you were when you found out in history class that Abraham Lincoln was shot.

The news devastated me pretty good. We’d been studying Lincoln for a few days, and I really took a liking to him. I know some people say Lincoln was weird and tall, but I happened to respect the guy despite all that. So when Ms. Willoughby told me what happened to my hero, I felt absolutely sick, like Abraham did when he was dying of bullet. “Ms. Willoughby,” I said to Ms. Willoughby, “this is just no good.” Sometimes you have to speak up, whether or not it’s popular.

That night, I went to break the news to my parents. My dad cried and said he had spent years trying to forget. My mom comforted my dad and said forgiveness is good, but John Wilkes Booth will never be welcome in this house. One the one hand, I was proud my parents were willing to take a stand. But on the other hand, I wasn’t in the mood for pride— not while “Honest” Abraham Lincoln lay dead.

I’ve come to terms with Abe’s death, though I still can’t say I support it. Seems to me like John Wilkes Booth should have spent less time killing the president and more time recycling, etc.

There is a happy ending, though. Remember Ms. Willoughby from the story? Well maybe you know her by her married name: Hannah Schafer. You know, it occurs to me that if you’re not from my town, you might not know her.