By Regine Schlesinger

CHICAGO (CBS) — A suburban funeral director has come up with an unusual way to honor Abraham Lincoln next month.

In honor of Lincoln’s birthday, and to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his assassination in April, funeral director Chuck Lyons has planned a program about the 1865 killing of Lincoln. Its centerpiece: a full-size replica of Lincoln’s casket.

“It’s the same casket that’s displayed in the (Lincoln) Museum down in Springfield. They built five of them and four of them travel across the country. The difference between ours and the one in Springfield is that the people are actually going to be able to see it and touch it,” Lyons said.

He’ll also have a presentation of the way Lincoln’s body was embalmed, something that was rare for civilians in the Civil War era. He acknowledged some might consider his presentation macabre, but he thinks it’s a way of making history come alive.

“Macabre is all in the way you take it. Today, children aren’t learning history,” he said

Lyons’ program, “The Assassination and Funeral of President Abraham Lincoln,” will be presented twice (2pm & 6pm) on Feb. 7 at the Woodlawn Funeral Home, 3201 W. Jefferson St. in Joliet. It’s free, but reservations are required.

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