[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/12/art.boabe0212.gi.jpg caption="The President spoke Thursday at a congressional celebration of Lincoln's 200th birthday anniversary."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - From Capitol Hill to Springfield, Illinois, President Obama and Congress paid tribute Thursday to Abraham Lincoln on the bicentennial of his birth.
Watch: Obama honors Lincoln
"It is an honor to be here: a place where Lincoln served, was inaugurated, and where the nation he saved bid him a last farewell," Obama said at the Capitol on Thursday.
"As we mark the bicentennial of our 16th president's birth, I cannot claim to know as much about his life and works as many who are also speaking today, but I can say that I feel a special gratitude to this singular figure who in so many ways made my own story possible - and who in so many ways made America's story possible."
White House officials say Obama's speechwriter had several conversations with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in crafting the speech.
"At a moment when we are far less divided than in Lincoln's day but when we are once again debating the critical issues of our time - and debating them sometimes fiercely - let us remember that we are doing so as servants of the same flag, as representatives of the same people and as stakeholders in a common future. That is the most fitting tribute we can pay and the most lasting monument we can build to that most remarkable of men, Abraham Lincoln," Obama said.