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Memorial Day Celebrations (1900-1909)
The Evening Star, May 30, 1900
The Graves of 1,400
Impressive Services at the Congressional Cemetery
The graves of 1,400 men who sleep in Congressional cemetery, and who served their country in time of war, were decorated today with flowers and with the colors of the starry flag they fought under. These 1,400 men represent the soldiers, sailors and marines of no single conflict in which their country engaged, but all its wars, with perhaps one exception, that which gave her a place among the nations of the earth. As was the rule throughout the land today, the decoration of these last resting places were in charge of veterans of the war of the rebellion, Farragut Post, No. 10, of the G.A.R., being assigned to Congressional cemetery, under the direction of Israel W. Stone, vice department commander, who was chairman of the committee of arrangements. His associates on the committee were A.F. Dinsmore and George R. Cook. Representative Washington Gardner of Michigan, who is a member of the G.A.R., was the orator of the day, and D.J. Evans read an original poem.
Farragut Post and its Ladies' Relief Corps assembled on Pennsylvania avenue between 3d and 4th streets southeast, together with many of the children attending Sunday schools in the southeast section of the city, at 9 a.m. Each child was presented with a flag, and each one brought a bunch of flowers to place upon a grave. From this point they were conveyed in carriages and buses to the cemetery, where they assisted in the work of decorating the graves, the last resting place of each hero having placed over it a small flag and being covered as far as possible with flowers. Over one grave-that of Samuel V. Stillings, who served on the Kearsarge-was placed a flag sent here by friends in Boston.
A small stand, decorated with the national colors, had been erected in the northwestern section of the cemetery, and there the formal exercises of the day were conducted.
Program of Exercises
Grouped about this stand were several hundred persons who were deeply interested in the exercises. After a bugler in the Washington Light Infantry Band had sounded the assembly and the band had rendered a sacred march, Junior Vice Department Commander Stone called the assemblage to order, making acknowledgment of the assistance rendered by the members of the post and relief corps, saying that those about him had united to honor the memory of brave and beloved dead, and to enrich life by recalling public heroism and private no less than immortal. He then presented the chaplain of the occasion, the Rev. A. Norman Wand, pastor of the North Carolina Avenue M.P. Church, who delivered an invocation, returning thanks for the work accomplished by those whose graves are today decorated, praying that their devotion and their example might never be forgotten. He prayed that the people of our new possessions might soon learn that America means but their good and the peace might soon prevail, not only therein, but throughout the world.
The Memorial Octet, composed of Messrs. B.W. Beebe, George H. Lillebridge, W.G. Penney, Harry F. Smith, Dr. F.J. Woodman, R.M. McKee, Dr. Fred. K. Swett, D. Harris Clark, Harry G. Kimball, accompanist, rendered "Our Braves," after which Mr. Vincent E. Lynch recited President Lincoln's immortal Gettysburg address.
A medley of patriotic airs was rendered by the band, after which Mr. D.J. Evans, the poet of the occasion, was introduced. Mr. Evans poet was introduced. Mr. Evans' poem was entitled "Manifest Destiny:" and was well received.
After the octet had rendered "Heroes Beloved." Representatives Gardner delivered an address which evoked no little applause.
Decoration day and the lesson it teaches, said Mr. Gardner, are due to one of the noblest traits of man and of nations-that of gratitude-gratitude, he added, to those who died that the nation might live. The heroism of these men was that for which the American soldier has always been famous. By the American soldier he referred to the men on both sides in the war of the rebellion-the one battling for national supremacy and the other for state sovereignty.
Difficulties Met With
Mr. Gardner spoke of the difficulties which confronted the nation during the days of the war of the rebellion, the greatest of which was that of a financial nature. In those days the bonds of the confederacy were more desired in England than those of the United States, and when the friendship of England for America is spoken of, Mr. Gardner trusted that it would not be forgotten that in those dark days, when her friendship would have been much more appreciated, she was not our friend.
The war with Spain and that of the rebellion were compared by Mr. Gardner, simply for the purpose, he explained, of showing the suffering and sacrifice of those who answered Lincoln's call. Much has been said of the suffering of our soldiers during the war with Spain, but, Mr. Gardner declared, the suffering of the men who fought in the war of the rebellion can never be truly appreciated save by those very men themselves. Two of his boys went into the war with Spain, and went to the front in sleeping cars, while their father and his comrades would have been delighted with even a cattle car.
The one great question, said Mr. Gardner, forever settled by the civil war was that this country is an indestructible, inseparable Union. Never again will a President of the United States doubt his power or his duty should one or more of the states take such a stand as those of the confederacy took. Should such a stand be again taken by any state, the head of the nation, the President, whoever he may happen to be, will declare, like Andrew Jackson did, that they will be taught what is right, if it takes the rest of the country to do it.
Another great lesson forever settled, said Mr. Gardner, was that slavery is not right and shall not prevail in this land. Those lessons and the men who taught them will never be forgotten as long as the land those heroes served lasts.
War Songs Rehearsed
Following Mr. Gardner's address, there was a selection of war songs by the band, after which Mr. Ward delivered the benediction. At noon a gun detachment from the Washington barracks fired a national salute.
The committee were:
Farragut Post-F.A. Lowe, W.W. Wallingford, Dr. A.C. Adams, P.C. George, James Wood, John Jost, Convis Parker, George N. Ramby, M.V.B. Wilson, H.H. Bunyea, J.W. Foster, L.H. Reth, B.F. Graham, A.T. Maupin, D. Weaver, P.J. Cooksey.
Farragut Relief Corps-Mrs. Julia Roberts, president; Mrs. Charlotte A. Kibby, Miss Emma S. Kibby, Mrs. Miranda W. Fuller, Mrs. Mary P. Ripley, Mrs. Annie Price, Mrs. J. Lizzie Bradley, Mrs. Sarah C. McDonald, Mrs. Annie Dykes, Mrs. Calra Kalstrom, Mrs. Mary H. Walling, Mrs. Grace M. Lowry, Mrs. Fannie C. Pratt, Mrs. Jennie Parker, Mrs. Geneva Dalton, Mrs. Jennie Beavens.
The Evening Star, May 30, 1901
City of Dead Beautified by Floral Offerings
The exercises today at Congressional cemetery were under the direction of Ivory G. Kimball, junior vice department commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The beauty of the morning was in large part responsible for an immense attendance. From an early hour streams of humanity moved toward the cemetery from many directions. Almost every one carried something in the way of a floral offering, and soon the city of the dead was transformed into a fragrant, picturesque enclosure. Many of the decorations were elaborate in character, and not a mound, no matter how obscure as regards location, failed to receive proper attention.
The relief corps of Farragut Post, G.A.R., and a number of school children assembled on Pennsylvania avenue near 4th street southeast at 8:30 o'clock, and were thence transported to the cemetery. The members of Farragut Post met half an hour later. After a systematic decoration of the graves the exercises were in order. The presiding officer, from a stand erected beneath two large trees, promptly at 10 o'clock directed a bugler to sound the "assembly." A brass band stationed alongside the stand rendered the march "Religioso," and then Commander Kimball rapped for order and called upon Rev. Geo. P. Wilson, D.D., to invoke divine blessing. After the prayer, the Grand Army Glee Club, consisting of B.W. Beebe, director; C.H. Carrington, P.W. Coleman, W.G. Penny, L.F. Callan, George C. Ross, Harry Smith, L.P. Selbold, H.N. Cump, R.B. Gardner, A.H. Frear, G. Fernald, D.H. Clark, E.H. Brown, J.L.H. Winfield, I.C. Stockton, E.D. Tracy, with Mrs. E.D. Tracy, accompanist, sang "Blessed Be the Ground." The next number of the program was the eloquent reading by Maj. John Tweedale of Lincoln's Gettysburg address. An original poem, written for the occasion by T.H. Sypherd of Burnside Post, was read by the author, and then Rev. Page Milburn, the orator of the day, was introduced.
Rev. Milburn's Address
At the outset of his address Rev. Mr. Milburn said that every year the nation sets apart one day in memory of the men, who wrote in their own blood the proclamation to the world that all men are born free and equal, and as such have an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and furthermore, that the United States of America is a nation and that all her citizens are sovereigns.
The men of the Grand Army of the Republic, the speaker went on to say, and the comrades whose memory was honored today fought in battle under a flag frequently torn and stained with human blood. But today, he explained, a stainless and untorn flag is planted at the head of each grave as a symbol of the fact that now over a happy and united land one flag floats untorn by sectional strife and unstained by rancorous hate.
"We strew flowers over these graves, not only as an emblem of sweet affection, but also as a reminder of the fact that the land once desolated by contending armies and stained by the blood of mortal conflict," said Rev. Mr. Milburn, "is today basking in the sunlight of national peace, and is rich and beautiful, and the prosperity of the citizens thereof is as the perfume of a flower garden.
"We love the veteran," further said the speaker, "we cherish the memory of him who gave his life for the perpetuation of this republic. We love him as we other peoples on earth love, for the American type of patriotism is different from any other in the world."
Rev. Mr. Milburn discoursed at some length on American patriotism, and characterized the Grand Army of the Republic as the grandest army in the world. He referred to the Spanish-American war and pointed out the loyalty, the patriotism, the unity of citizenship of the nation which made possible the deliverance of Cuba. In conclusion the speaker expressed the hope that the generations to come will care for the soldiers' graves and cherish the memory of their work, the inheritance left to them for their care and cultivation.
National Salute Fired
The band next played a medley of war songs, the glee club led in the singing of "America," and Rev. Dr. Wilson pronounced a benediction. The exercises were brought to a close by the firing of a national salute by the 4th Battery, United States Field Battery, stationed in the southern portion of the cemetery grounds.
The committee of arrangements in connection with the exercises at Congressional cemetery consisted of I.G. Kimball, chairman; A.F. Dinsmore and P.C. George of Farragut Post and William F. Wolfe, Cushing Camp, Sons of Veterans, together with the following representatives of the post; F.A. Lowe, W.W. Wallingsford, George R. Cook, Dr. A.C. Adams, G.W. Mockabee, M.V.B. Wilson, J.W. Foster, L.H. Roth, Donald McCathran, H.H. Bunyea, S.W. Bunyea.
The committee of Farragut Relief Corps that participated in the exercises was made up of Mrs. Jessie A. Bruner, Mrs. Jane E. Bradley, Mrs. A.M. Dykes, Mrs. Grace Lowry, Mrs. Ripley, Mrs. Walling, Mrs. Dalton, Mrs. Parker, Mrs. McDonald, Mrs. Shanahan, Mrs. Williamson, Mrs. Morgan, Miss Mundell, Mrs. Fuller.
The Evening Star, May 30, 1902
Praise of the Dead Spoken by Edward Seeds of Iowa
Congressional Cemetery with her green-sodded mounds, her drooping boughs and her fragrant blossoms, threw open her gates this morning to welcome in solemn sadness, yet in hallowed glory, the yearly pilgrimage of that multitude who, enjoying the heritage of a martyred soldiery, bow in loving gratitude at the nation's shrine of freedom. All day long did those pilgrims tread to this shrine, each bearing a tribute of nature's beauty, until the mounds over which fluttered the tiny standards, designating them as the hallowed ground of the nation's dead, were themselves buried in the rich foliage of our choicest blossoms.
Near was the past, brought to the present when the little band of hoary-headed veterans uncovered in the fresh morning air and joined their voices and their hearts in touching praise of those whom they had known so well in life, and whose memory they loved so well in death. Treading to the heat of a muffled drum, not more than twenty veterans of Farragut Post, No. 10, were in line from the post quarters to the cemetery. When they halted before the improvised pavilion at 9:30 they were confronted with a huge pile of blossoms, heaped on the ground by the school children of the southeast section of the city. And when the veterans stooped and gathered up the blossoms in their arms and bore them away to the graves they knew so well they were assisted by the children, who prattled along by their side, realizing only the childish joy of the blossoms, the love for the flags and the sunshine and breeze.
The sound of the bugle, pealing forth the notes of the "assembly" called the little band to attention. Chopin's Funeral march was rendered by the Washington Light Infantry Band, while the hundreds of citizens scattered throughout the cemetery gathered in a huge circle about the pavilion. With a word of tribute for the dead, and a word of praise for the children, Abraham Hart, junior vice department commander, called the assemblage to order. Then followed the singing by the choir of "Nearer My God to Thee." The invocation was pronounced by Rev. J.C. Nicholson, who fervently invoked the blessing of God, both on the living and the dead. He voiced the thanks of a grateful nation for the deeds of those who were mourned, and prayed for guidance and strength to carry out the plan of civilization they had made possible for those of this nation to enjoy. He referred touchingly to the widow of the late President, who would alone today place a wreath on the grave of him who was by her side on the last anniversary of this day.
Keller's "American Hymn" by the choir and the reading of Lincoln's Gettysburg address by Mr. Clarence L. Parker followed, when the band played "In Memoriam." Comrade D.J. Evans gave poetic expression to the hallowed nature of Memorial day by reading a poem he had written for the occasion.
Address of Edward Seeds
Preceding the address of the day by Mr. Edward Seeds of Iowa the choir rendered Stewart's "Cover Them Over With Beautiful Flowers." The speaker pictured the nation's cemeteries as the hallowed spots which were this day associated with the richest memories, which conspired to allay the emotions of passion and dispel the mists of prejudice. Its influence invited our souls and our intellects to contemplate the sacrifices of those who, in the times of our country's need, offered their lives that a nation rich in great possibilities, might not perish from the earth.
He pictured the army and navy as the physical embodiment of the strength of our people. If that strength was one of virtue and nobleness, then that army and navy would be one whose every battle was for civilization, whose defeat would become a lasting sorrow, and whose victories were prophecies of the millennial dawn. But war was indeed grim visaged; except in its results there were no delights.
The Living Dead
Turning to the blossoming mounds, the speaker declared that the lives they represented were not blotted out--those lives were immortal. We might not know the names of those who rested beneath the sod; the paths in which they had walked were quiet paths; their associations were with the great unknown who constitute our people--but in all those elements which make the hero--self-sacrifice and self-effacement, devotion to noble ideals, courage in the face of death--they had been supreme.
He pictured the old battlefields and pointed out signal deeds of heroism, the glory of which he said has not been dimmed by the splendid victories in Manila Bay and Santiago, nor by the innumerable actions under such overwhelming difficulties in our possessions in the Philippines.
The speaker believed there was more than a far cry in destiny. He asked to be pointed to the time or place where the armies or navies of this nation had ever fought to enslave. Mistakes had been made, no doubt, but no mistakes had ever been persisted in when the American people realized the wrong.
Our country had its birth in the hope of liberty, he concluded, and in the desire for regulated freedom. Its manhood and womanhood had been evolved and educated from and through those eternal principles. Its soldiers and sailors had consciously and grandly, from the very first breath of freedom until this very moment, sustained and enforced those principles. Encouraged by their examples, inspired by the deeds which they have written imperishably upon the walls of our national palace, desirous of performing our present duty honestly and intelligently, we return from this Mount of Transfiguration, renewed for the struggle of our daily existence with a calm faith in the ideals of our fathers, which have been made sacred by your devotion and suffering and glorious by our country's victories in peace as well as in war.
Selections of war songs by the band; the singing of "America" by the choir; a benediction and salute, concluded the eremonies.
The selected choir for the occasion was composed of A.W.H. Ferris, conductor; Mrs. A.J. Brown, organist; Mrs. N.D. Drexel, Mrs. F.H. Deland, Mrs. C.N. Heitinger, Mrs. Wm. D. Henderson and Mrs. A.W.H. Ferris, sopranos; Miss F. Bateman, Miss G.M. Deland and Mrs. Smith, altos; Dr. A.J. Brown, Mr. A.M. Trivett and Mr. A.W.H. Ferris, tenors; Mr. F.H. Deland and Mr. E.A. Muir, bassos.
The following were the representatives of Farragut Post and Corps;
Farragut Post--Geo. C. Acton, S.W. Bunyea, H.H. Bunyea, Geo. R. Cook, P.J. Cooksey, J.W. Foster, B.F. Graham, P.C. George, John Jost, A. Kalstrom, F.A. Lowe, G.W. Mockabee, Donald McCathran, R.J. Nicholson, E.H. Ripley, M.V.B. Wilson, W.W. Wallingsford, Darwin Weaver.
Farragut Corps--Mrs. M. Walling, Mrs. MA. George, Mrs. C. Kalstrom, Mrs. J.A. Bruner, Mrs. J.E. Bradley, Mrs. A.M. Dykes, Mrs. G.M. Lowry, Mrs. J. Parker, Mrs. Williamson, Miss I. Shanahan, Mrs. M. Morgan, Mrs. M.W. Fuller, Miss M. Mundell, Mrs. M. Licartone.
The Evening Star, May 30, 1903
Interesting Exercises at Congressional Cemetery
Address by T.H. McKee
At one side of the road leading from the G street entrance of the Congressional cemetery to the new chapel which is nearing completion the members of the Grand Army of the Republic had erected a platform. It was canopied today with the national colors and the posts supporting the framework of the roof were twined with the American flag. Placed as it was amidst the stretch of green lawn which abounds in this beautiful resting place of the dead, and screened by the direct rays of the sun by the spreading branches of the old trees the surroundings seemed appropriate to the sentiment of the hour. All about were the graves of the dead, many of them not the last resting place of those who died in the service of their country, but all covered with the bright flowers of the season and showing that none of those who had gone had been forgotten.
In the group of people who stood about the platform and listened with appreciative attention to the services that were held under the auspices of the Grand Army in observance of Memorial day, were those who had come prepared to decorate the graves of the departed. They bore in their arms and in baskets blooms and fresh greenery, and, pausing for a while at the stand, they heard the music and listened to the patriotic utterances which the day suggests. With them, too, were little children, who bore their share of the floral tributes, and in this way paid tribute to the memories of those who had lived and died long before they were born and through whose sacrifices they had come to the heritage of a united nation.
In keeping with the quiet beauty of the place and with the songs of the birds which continued undisturbed to carol in the branches of the trees, the exercises were simple and unpretending. There was music by Horton's East Washington Band, and singing by the choir, under the direction of Gilbert A. Clark. Hiram Buckingham, jr., the chairman of the committee, having the arrangements in charge, presided, and prayer was offered by Rev. W.M. Nevens and Duncan C. Haywood read Lincoln's Gettysburg address. A poem entitled "Mustered Out," was read by D.J. Evans, which was a tender and beautiful tribute to the qualities of those who gave their services to their country in the civil war.
The oration of the occasion was by Thomas H. McKee, a veteran of the war, who pointed out that the two great results of the civil contest, the preservation of the union and the abolition of slavery--had been accomplished at a great expense of life and treasure. The men who had given their services and those who sacrificed their lives, he said, were to a large extent young men, just entering upon business careers. What these men wrought is preserved as a precious legacy.
The program of the day was brought to a close with music and the benediction, the latter pronounced by Rev. Mr. Nevens.
The members of the committee of arrangements were Hiram Buckingham, chairman; Richard Emmons, A.F. Dinsmore, James Wood, George R. Cook. Farragut Post, No. 10, and Woman's Relief Corps were also present.
The choir was composed of the following: Gilbert A. Clark, director; Elizabeth Lamson, organist; sopranos, Mrs. William K. Miller, Mrs. Gilbert A. Clark, Miss Maggie Hawkins; Mrs. Susie Hoofnagle; Miss Florence Morrill, Miss Gertrude Gonzenbach; altos, Miss Laura V. French, Miss Sue Lamson, Miss Lucina McGroarty; tenors, Dr. W.B. Hoofnagle, Mr. R.E. Fleharty, Mr. Charles L. McGroarty, Mr. Wm. O. Lyon; bassos, Mr. Gilbert A. Clark, Mr. Ernest A. Ferris, Mr. Harry Burlingame, Mr. John Bethune, Mr. William K. Miller.
The Evening Star, May 30, 1904
A Splendid Tribute
Chaplain Pierce's Address at Congressional Cemetery
Interesting Exercise There Under Auspices of Farragut Post, No. 10, G.A.R.
As the stirring events of the civil war pass father and farther into the realms of the past the devotion paid by the younger generations to the men who sacrificed their lives that the Union might live only increases its intensity. This spirit of reverence for the memory of the soldier dead was clearly evidence at Congressional cemetery today, where the decoration of the graves was more elaborate and general than ever before. The celebration was taken part in by a large assemblage, composed of several generations from the feeble men and women who forty years ago were in the prime of manhood and womanhood to the children that played on the grassy slopes of the historic burial place and listened to the strains of patriotic music.
Early in the morning wagons and carriages laden with flowers arrived at the grounds, and men and women carrying great baskets of bloom came on foot.
Farragut Post, No. 10
Farragut Post, No. 10; Farragut Woman's Relief Corps, Sons of Veterans, Ladies' Aid Society of the Sons of Veterans, the Daughters of Veterans and children from Sunday schools assembled at 216 Pennsylvania avenue southeast at 8 o'clock this morning, and thence proceeded to the cemetery. An armed guard of the Sons of Veterans acted as an escort. After the decoration of graves services were held at the pavilion erected in a central location in the cemetery.
Reveille and assembly was sounded by Bugler Dorsey, the shrill strains of the instrument calling a large company to take part in the service. Handel's Largo was then rendered by the United States Engineer Band. Junior Vice Commander Tasker called the assembly to order and the choir of the Metropolitan Baptist Church, under the direction of Gilbert A. Clark, sang "New Hail Columbia" with splendid effect. The Holy City was rendered by Mr. Va. A. Potter being accompanied with band.
A feature of the occasion was the reading of Lincoln's Gettysburg address by Mr. C.S. Davis, who was followed by Maj. F.I. Willis, who recited an original patriotic poem which paid a tribute to the gallantry of the boys in blue.
A striking touch of tender sentiment was added to the service by the singing of "The Vacant Chair" by Mrs. Wm. K. Miller and the choir.
Chaplain Pierce's Oration
The oration was by Chaplain Charles C. Pierce, United States army, and commanded the rapt attention of the large company seated on the lawn before the speakers' platform and standing for a long distance to the rear.
Chaplain Pierce said in part: "I speak today to the survivors of two wars, a greater and a lesser war, if you please. And yet the older veterans must bear in mind that their younger emulators in bringing speedy peace out of a smaller conflict, did their full duty with the biggest thing that came to them. That it wasn't bigger was no fault of theirs.
"And I want you to remember that the old flag came from both of these conflicts with its stripes dyed a deeper red by the blood of a multitude of martyrs; with its field undimmed by the falling of a star, and with its white stripes unsullied by any mark of dishonor.
"In both struggles it was the emblem of liberty. Is folds pledged asylum to fettered and helpless souls. Whether they were worth fighting for is the politician's question. Whether the nation has been advantaged is an academic subject. What are we going to get out of it? Is the question of sordidness and greed.
"The spirit of chivalry does not wait for answers to these questions. It hears the cry of fettered humanity and it hurries with relief. It concerns itself only with the question of the moment, as to what is right; and it passes on to the future all the problems that are born with victory, feeling sure that the genius of our civilization will accomplish, by education and legislation, all that providence has given us to do.
"If only the man with the ballot is as true to his trust as the man with the bullet has been--and I have no doubt he will be--none of us need sigh for the future of this fair land, as none of us have cause to blush for its past.
"Why do we touch upon topics like this upon such an occasion? Because we want to crown our dead with laurel. Because we want posterity to give them more than empty honor. If we detract from the dignity of their endeavor we rob them of their right.
"The armies of these two great epochs of our history were not made up of adventurers or of those who had no visible means of support. They were men whose military service was parenthetical. In the midst of a life of useful pursuits. And here, where the ears of some of them may hear our words, and where the bodies of others rest in sacred soil, is the proper place to dignify them with the name of heroes and to enroll the dead among the martyrs, because their vicarious action bound the nation in perpetual union, and gave to history the most sublime spectacle of unselfish devotion to the cause of liberty that it has ever been able to record.
"Here is the place to say of the men of the sixties and the men of the nineties, that they did not fail. Victory was theirs; not only that victory which measures itself in physical terms--the beating down of one material force by a mightier one--but the victory of ideals and the triumph of principles; those things which mark epochs in human thought, and quicken universal conscience, and set new standards, and nobler for future ages to aspire to.
"There are no blood stains on their memory, and the hands they lift to God are clean, because they died a vicarious endeavor to right the wrongs of men."
A round of approving applause was given Chaplain Pierce as he concluded his brilliant address.
The benediction was pronounced by Rev. Arthur H. Thompson and after the sounding of taps by the bugler, the national salute was fired.
At the conclusion of the service, members of Farragut Woman's Relief Corps proceeded to the Pennsylvania avenue bridge, where a raft laden with flowers and flying the Union Jack was liberated and allowed to float toward the sea in honor of the sailor dead.
The Evening Star, May 30, 1905
Strewn With Blooms
Graves of Dead at Congressional Cemetery
Oration Delivered by Auditor W.E. Andrews
Lincoln's Address at Gettysburg Read by Representative of Sons of Veterans
Memorial services were held this morning at Congressional cemetery, where 1,632 of the Union soldiers and sailors of the war of the rebellion are interred. Although the exercises were scheduled to begin at 9:30, it was nearer 10 o'clock when the bugler sounded assembly. At that time there were fully 3,000 people in the cemetery, and this number was augmented later by the relatives and friends of those whose loved ones sleep there.
There the natural beauties of the cemetery were increased a thousand fold by the enormous display of flowers, which literally covered the ground. Wherever a Union soldier or sailor was buried the spot was marked by a flag, and these were objective points for the committee on flowers, who saw to it that none was neglected.
The exercises took place on the north side of the main walk west of the chapel. Here a stand was erected, accommodating the choir and others who took part in the program.
After the United States Engineer Band, under Bandmaster Kamper, had rendered Rossini's impressive "Stabat Mater," the choir under the directorship of Gilbert A. Clark of the Metropolitan Church, sang "Nearer, My God to Thee." Rev. Carl G. Doney, D.D., made the invocation, and Mr. C.S. Davis of the Sons of Veterans read Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Capt. F. Penrose Smith read an original poem.
The oration was delivered by Mr. William E. Andrews.
Mr. Andrews' Address
Mr. Andrews said in part:
"When the existence of this nation was imperiled by armed rebellion, you and your comrades in arms risked everything, even life itself, that the Union might live--that the Constitution of the fathers might be preserved and that the banner of American freedom might continue to enrich the civilization of the world. The skill and fidelity displayed by you in the execution of those sacred trusts have challenged and received the highest commendation.
"In the midst of those scenes of war I find a subject worthy of our consideration, namely. "The Soldier and His Country." By the term soldier I mean the warrior, either regular or volunteer, who defended the cause of the Union on land or sea in the hour of the nation's need without discrimination for or against any.
"We see our typical American soldier in his early days or in his manhood engaged in the pursuits of peace. Around him are the opportunities of a useful, happy and successful life. All the comforts and blessings of domestic life are his. Advantages for financial achievements open before him, station and fame await him among his countrymen. His heart is thrilled with the hopeful promise of success for himself and those dependent upon him. In the midst of such circumstances he hears the call of his country. The notes of war ring throughout the nation--the life of the nation has been assailed by hostile guns. Eleven stars of the American constellation have been snatched from the azure field of blue by the forces of secession and rebellion. A new life, a changed career, now open before the man who is to stand forth in our thought as the type of American soldiery. He thinks of the blessings and happiness of his fireside--he thinks of the plans for a lifetime, but with a sad countenance, yet resolute purpose, he turns from all these and responds to his country's call and marches to field of battle. In so doing he seems to sacrifice everything and to risk everything, even life itself. In imitation of his example, thousands and hundreds of thousands are 2,400,000, wrote that lesson of self-sacrifice in the history of our country on the Union side from '61 to '65. Think of that magnificent army that grew from 16,000 on January 1, 1861 to 1,000,000 on May 1, 1865.
"We are told that love is a tyrant. When we note its manifestations between husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, we may answer: Yes, love is a tyrant. What would the devoted parent not sacrifice for the life and health and strength and honor of the son and the daughter! What would devoted hearts bound together by the fondest ties not sacrifice for the continuance of such helpful and ennobling companionship! But all these were cast into the balance against national duty. Nevertheless, this American soldier bade farewell to all, and, responding to his nation's call, wrote a lesson of self-sacrifice that can never die. One hundred and ten thousand brave boys in blue were killed or mortally wounded on fields of battle, and 249,000 died from disease and other causes within the period of the war, many of whom still sleep in unknown graves in the land where they fought and died. Three hundred and fifty-nine thousand lives as a sacrifice upon the nation's altar. Add to this the treasure that was contributed by the people of the nation during that dreadful conflict, approximating $7,000,000,000. Think of the loss of business opportunity, think of the paralysis of commerce everywhere, and let these brief citations express to you some faint measure of the sacrifice made by the American soldier and the loyal people of this country in the cause of the Union. So long as the citizens of this country shall recognize the lesson of sacrifice thus taught and applied with equal commendation, in future years our country will have ready resources to meet any demands that may be made upon it.
"Not only did this American soldier give to us the lesson of self-sacrifice, but he allowed to us that love of country and patriotism was in the language of the song the supreme tyrant of the hour, because it led him and his comrade from the walks of peace to the scenes of war, there to endure and die if need be, that his country might live. That spirit of patriotism has brightened up the pages of American history. It shines forth through all the trying days and years of the contest. It stood behind the guns at Vicksburg, at Shiloh, at Stone River, in the Wilderness, at Gettysburg and rose to the summit of Lookout Mountain, and wrote the poetry of battle amid the clouds of heaven. It swayed the hearts of the loyal people of this country and prepared them to sacrifice everything that the Union might live.
"But nowhere in all the history of the world have there been written such crucial tests of loyalty to country as were exhibited during the period of our civil war.
"But this American solider of ours and his comrades passed through those trying scenes of prison life to the illumination of the pages of his country's history with a loyalty that could never be conquered. Then let the citizens of this country grasp and apply the full measure and significance of this lesson that out Americcan soldier has taught us at such great sacrifice!
"He has also taught us the splendid lesson of obedience, obedience to the Constitution, obedience to the flag and all it means, obedience to the cause of civil and religous liberty. Through all of these scenes there seemed to be one controlling sentiment in his life: 'My country, all for thee, all for thee!'
"Let us note a distinguishing characteristic of the American. It shines forth upon every battlefield of the Union. It grasped the banner of freedom at Sumter, bore it through untold perils all the way to Appomatox, and raised it aloft in triumph o'er the grave of secession, rebellion, state rights and slavery, and bequethed to us a land without a chain, a flag without a chain! Courage, valor! View them as displayed upon the greatest battlefields of the world and you will find that this typical American soldier is surpassed by none. With all the brilliancy of a Napoleon on the field of Austerlitz, in the battle of nations, and the calm composure and firmness of a Wellington on the field of Waterloo, he has written his deeds of valor in letters of living light. But few names, however, stand out upon the printed pages, but the rank and file of the Union army stood behind Logan, Reynolds, Meade, Chamberlain, Sheridan, Sherman and Grant and wrote their names upon the tablets of immortal fame. It fitly illustrates the idea that Washington and Lincoln and Grant rose to their surpassing fame and glory upon the foundation of the rank and file of American soldiery. The generals planned, but the rank and file executed those plans and orders and placed the stars of honor and glory upon the shoulders of their leaders.
The National Salute
After the benediction "Taps" were sounded, and a battery of United States field artillery stationed in a remote part of the grounds fired the national salute. The exercises were under the direction of Thomas H. Martin, junior vice department commander, and the following committees:
Committee on arrangements--Thomas H. Martin, B.F. Graham and A.F. Dinsmore.
Committee of Farragut Post--B.F. Graham, S.W. Bunyea, Convis Parker, George R. Cook, H.N. Copp, W.W. Wallingford, A.F. Dinsmore, Richard Emmons, P.J. Cooksey, P.C. George, J.T. Chancey, C.E. Hooks, John Jost, Don McCathran, E.H. Ripley, W.A. Chancey, G.W. Dove, Darwin Weaver, James Wood, H.H. Bunyea, J.C. Birchfield, John Shaw.
Committee of Farragut Corps--Mrs. Sarah A. Bunyea, Mrs. Jessie Bruner, Mrs. Lizzie Bradley, Mrs. Anna M. Dykes, Mrs. Mary George, Miss Emma Kibbey, Mrs. Fannie Pratt, Mrs. Marion Parker, Mrs. E. Bright, Mrs. Mary Ripley, Mrs. Mary Lohr, Mrs. Mary A. Dow, Mrs. Mary A. Stoddard, Miss Ida Bitz, Miss Clara Gallagher, Miss Helen Loane, Miss Annie Dow, Mrs. Julia Roberts, Mrs. Sarah Albert, Miss Frances C. Smith, Mrs. G.E. Loane, Mrs. Jennie Beane, Mrs. Emma Brown, Mrs. Lucie Weaver, Mrs. Mary Hayghe, Mrs. Ida McKinney.
Committee of Sons of Veterans--Clushing Camp--Francis E. Cross, E.R. Campbell, C.S. Davis, W.E. Wolfe, E.M. Taber. Lincoln Camp--D.H. Evans, B.J. Northcott, R.M. Weedin, J.H. Howell, P.E. McCarten.
At the conclusion of the exercises services in memory of the sailor dead were held at the Pennsylvania avenue bridge under the direction of the Woman's Relief Corps of Farragut Post.
The Evening Star, May 30, 1906
Hearts of Veterans
Touched by Address at Congressional Cemetery
Feature of Celebration
Address by Representative Albert F. Dawson of Iowa
Significance of the Day
Never Again Such a War--Nation Owes Debt--Impressive to High Degree
The exercises at Congressional cemetery were notable for the interesting program prepared for the patriots who attended the exercises at that burial place. The beauty of the day was at no place more pronounced than there on the bank of the Eastern Branch.
The special feature of the celebration was an address by Representative Albert F. Dawson of Iowa. Mr. Dawson touched a tender chord in the hearts of the veterans who listened to his stirring words. Born after the civil war, he showed a deep appreciation of the deeds of the heroes whose patriotic struggle had preserved the Union. Mr. Dawson's address was listened to by a throng of the old and young and frequent applause was given.
Significance of the Day
He said, in part:
"The significance of Memorial day increases with each passing year. It has a deeper meaning today than it had ten years ago, and ten or twenty years hence it will be held in deeper reverence than it is now. The reason for this is plain. Each recurring year brings to the living with greater force the obligation which we owe to those whose memories we honor this day by strewing their graves with the choicest flowers, and as the years go by and our country increases in greatness and power this sense of obligation to those who made this greatness possible will increase and deepen.
"Then too, this day had its source in one of those tremendous events in the life of the world, whose full significance can only be realized and appreciated in the calm perspective of history. The civil war was an event of this kind. None of us perhaps can grasp the full significance of that war, certainly none of us can measure correctly the mighty influence it has already had on the civilized world in proving that 'government of the people, by the people and for the people' is an enduring success.
Never Again Such a War
"The human race will probably never again witness such a war, with nearly five million free and enlightened citizens-the flower o American manhood-engaged in deadly strife covering a period of four years and entailing a loss of nearly 600,000 killed, and resulting in such widespread destruction and suffering and the expenditure of billions of treasure.
The marvel of the civil war rests not so much in its magnitude as in the quality of the men who thus freely offered up their lives on the altar of their country. They were not mere soldiers, as the term is generally understood in history. The Union army was made up of the American volunteer, and he stands apart in a class entirely by himself. He is the citizen soldier, who only lays down the implements of peace and takes up the weapons of war when his country is in peril. The Union army was made up of men who forsook their happy homes and their peaceful pursuits in the trades and professions and marched to the front in defense of the flag and the principles of freedom and peace.
Nation Owes a Debt
"This nation owes a debt of everlasting gratitude to those brave women-to the mothers who willingly gave up their sons to the country's services; to the faithful and devoted wife, who, with her children clinging to her skirts, kept back her tears and bade goodbye and Goodspeed to the departing husband, who marched off to war perhaps never to return again. Her courage was equal to that of the man who marches into battle and faces death at the cannon's mouth. She must remain at home and suffer the continual torture of uncertainty and dread-expecting every day and every hour to receive news of the death of her loved ones in camp or in battle."
He spoke of the tremendous results of the war and of the great lesson it had given future generations. Mr. Dawson recalled historic sayings by Grant, and concluded by saying:
"Let us treasure these immortal sayings and make them the watchwords of our daily lives. Let us fill our hearts with patriotism and our minds with courage, justice and a firm determination to do right. By so doing we can uphold and carry still higher the banner of human liberty; we can make this nation better, greater and a still brighter example for generations and people yet to come."
The exercises were under the direction of Mr. B.F. Graham, junior vice department commander, the committee on arrangements being composed of Mr. Graham, Mr. P.C. George, Mr. Chas. D. Scott and Mr. T.J. Sullivan.
Impressive to a High Degree
The services at the cemetery were impressive to a high degree. The sounding of reveille and assembly by the band bugler was followed by the rendition of "Free as a Bird" by the Naval Gun Factory Band, J.G. Woody leader.
The choir sang "Nearer, My God, to Thee." The invocation was by Rev. Geo. E. Maydwell.
Mrs. Arthur G. Dunn sang "All Hail Our Flag," after which Lincoln's Gettysburg address was read by Col. S.R. Stratton. "The Star Spangled Banner" was recited by Mr. M.F. Shelton.
The Metropolitan Church choir rendered several musical numbers.
At the conclusion of the service in the cemetery a boat laden with flowers was set adrift at the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge in memory of the sailor dead. This feature of the celebration was under the auspices of Farragut Woman's Relief Corps.
The committee in charge of the celebration of Congressional cemetery were as follows:
Memorial committee Farragut Post-R.C. George, Darwin Weaver, P.J. Cooksey, A.F. Dinsmore, Richard Emmons, Convis Parker, John Jost, H.H. Bunyea, George R. Cook, E.H. Ripley.
Farragut Corps-Mrs. Clara Kalstrom, Mrs. Frances Smith, Mrs. Grace Lowry, Mrs. Lizzie Bradley, Mrs. Marion Parker, Mrs. Jessie Bruner, Miss Emma Kibbey, Mrs. Mary Bright, Mrs. Jennie Parker, Mrs. Anne Dykes, Mrs. Mary George, Miss Clara Emmons, Mrs. Mary Ripley, Mrs. Addie Foster, Mrs. Mary Stoddard, Mrs. Fannie Pratt, Mrs. Julia Roberts.
B.F. Graham Camp, Sons of Veterans, Charles Scott, C.E. Miller, A.E. Cook, S.E. Robb, C.E. Spieden, H.F. Luce.
Fourth Immunes Camp, Spanish War Veterans-D.C. Eberly.
The Evening Star, May 30, 1907
Soldiers and sailors
Ceremonies at Their Graves in Congressional Cemetery
Relief Corps Assists
Addresses by Rev. F.M. Bristol and Others
Program of the Exercises
Junior Vice Commander Holbrook of the G.A.R. Conducts Ceremonies-The Music
Farragut Post, No. 10, G.A.R., assisted by the Farragut Woman's Relief Corps, the Daughters of Veterans, B.F. Graham Camp, Sons of Veterans, and the Fourth Immune Camp, United Spanish War Veterans, had charge of the services in the Congressional cemetery. All were under the direction of E.H. Holbrook, junior vice department command, and Mr. Holbrook was assisted by H.H. Bunyea, James Fran, D.C. Eberly and C.E. Hooks, as a committee of arrangements.
Beginning early yesterday morning, the memorial committee of Farragut Post marked with flags all known graves of veterans of the civil war in the Congressional cemetery. The number, including both the soldier and sailor dead, has been estimated at between 1,200 and 1,400, and the committee was engaged most of the day in its labor of love. John Jost was chairman of the memorial committee, and those who worked with him were P.J. Cooksey, Geo. R. Cook, James Wood, Convis Parker, P.C. George, S.W. Bunyea, W.F. Brenizer, A.F. Dinsmore, Stanton Weaver, B.F. Graham and E.H. Ripley.
Supplementing the work of the veterans, the members of Farragut Woman's Relief Corps went to the cemetery early this morning, and with the aid of a willing delegation of public school children from the Wallach, Hilton, Brent, Edmonds, Peabody, Towers and Lenox schools, they strewed flowers about the tiny flags on the mounds.
Services Open at 10 o'clock
Junior Vice Department Commander Holbrook opened the services at 10 o'clock this morning, when he called upon the bugler of the United States Engineers' Band to play the reveille and assembly. In his opening address Commander Holbrook gave voice to a touching sentiment on the meaning of Memorial day to the country, and spoke of the heroic sacrifices to principle expressed in the mounds which dotted the cemetery all around the speakers' stand.
"Let us join on this sacred Memorial day," he said in conclusion, "and strew the lillies of the north and the magnolias of the south upon these American heroes' graves. My comrades, it seems to me that the Grand Army of the Republic has still a mission, a duty yet to perform-the building up and strengthening of a fraternal love among those between whom there should be no bitterness, but only a respectful love and a national pride. If this can be done by us, if this is to be the last mission of the Grand Army of the Republic before it passes forever off the stage, it will be its most glorious victory."
The choir of the Metropolitan Baptist Church, Mr. Gilbert A. Clark, director, led in singing "Nearer, My God, to Thee," and Rev. H.S. France pronounced the invocation. "To Thee, O Country," was sung by the choir; Lincoln's Gettysburg address was read by Samuel R. Strattan; the Engineers' Band played "The Holy City;" a recitation, "The American Flag," was given by Miss Grace Ross, and Mrs. Arthur G. Dunn, soprano soloist of the Metropolitan Church choir, sang "The Rest of the Brave," after which Commander Holbrook introduced Rev. Dr. Bristol to deliver the oration of the day.
Oration by Rev. Dr. Bristol
The oration was delivered by Rev. Dr. Frank M. Bristol, pastor of the Metropolitan M.E. Church.
"This happy and prosperous nation, united within and at peace with all the world, once more bares its brow to the baptism of liberty and bows its heart to the sacrifice which liberty has cost," he said. "These graves, made beautiful by the flowers of memory and gratitude that kiss the sod, tell us at what a price our Union and our liberties were preserved. Well may the prattling children and sunny-faced youth, the future hope of our country, come to these graves today; well may the toiling man, enjoying the dignity, sovereignty and well-paid recompense of free labor, come; well may the rich man come whose very wealth is the harvest of a prosperity made possible by emancipated toil and free, independent and intelligent industry; well may the statesman come whose genius consecrated to high legislation, stands guard over the political bulwarks of the state and over that contribution which is the palladium of freedom; well may the learned jurist come whose study is justice and equity, and whose wisdom, judgment and integrity insure the people's rights in their equality before the law; well may the teacher come whose high mission it becomes to teach the rising generations the philosophy of our national greatness in the history of deeds and men 'that made the old time splendid.' And well may the preacher come who tells the world the gospel that man was saved by sacrifice, and that blood divine was the price of redemption. We all owe a debt to these mighty ashes of the soldier dead-a debt no money can pay-a debt no eulogies can discharge, though every word were a flower and every sentence a garland fragrant with the souls purest eloquence. We come to acknowledge our debt; we cannot pay it. Memorial day has a threefold significance. The nation remembers in its songs and tears, in its love and eulogies the soldier dead; the veterans, the men who saw service and stood up to shoot and to be shot at in battle, recall the days 'that tried men's souls,' Then in the strength and glory and hopeful patriotism of youth they entered the good fight for freedom and the Union. And the nation, across these graves of the heroic dead, grasps once more with firm, kindly, sympathetic hand the band of every living veteran, and crowns with fresh laurels of honor and grateful veneration the brows of these men whose glory it is that they marched with these translated heroes to battle and to victory. The flowers scattered on the graves of the patriotic dead would wither as they touched the sod if the gratitude of the country that places them there were ungenerously and ignominiously forgetful of the living comrades of the gallant dead. "Honor to whom honor is due, whether it be due the dead or the living."
The concluding numbers of the program included: "Inflammatus," a selection by the band; "The Recessional" (DeKoven), sung by Mrs. Arthur G. Dunn and the choir; a poem, "In Memoriam," recited by Harry O. Hall, and "America," sung by the choir and the entire assemblage, under leadership of the band. Rev. H.S. France pronounced the benediction, the bugler sounded "Taps," and a section of the battery from Fort Myer fired the national salute.
At the conclusion of the exercises services in memory of the sailor dead were held on the Pennsylvania avenue bridge under the auspices of the Farragut Woman's Relief Corps. Mrs. M.A. Dow, the president, led in the responsive service from the ritual of the corps, and school children scattered flowers upon the water.
The Evening Star, May 30, 1908
At Congressional Cemetery
Farragut Post, No. 10, Conducts Memorial Exercises
Junior Vice Department Commander Presides and Judge Seeds of Iowa Delivers Oration
At Congressional cemetery, where the remains of soldiers of four wars have rested since they heard the last great bugle call, the veterans of Farragut Post, No. 10, G.A.R. today visited the 1,500 graves of soldiers and sailors who died for the Union, and with shaking hands and hearts full of the memories of days long since past left flowers and wreaths as a token of remembrance.
Assisting the gray-haired men of Farragut Post were the Sons of Veterans of Cushing Camp, No. 30; the Farragut Women's Relief Corps and the Daughters of Veterans, Ellen Spencer Mussey Tent, No. 4. The exercises in memory of the nation's sailor dead sleeping in Congressional cemetery were under the auspices of the Farragut Women's Relief Corps.
The exercises were opened by the calls "Reveille" and "Assembly," sounded by a bugler of the United States Engineer Band. From then until "Taps" was sounded and the national salute given the program was one of patriotic interest. Two musical numbers preceded the introductory remarks of Dr. H.A. Johnson, junior vice department commander. They were Handel's largo from "Xerxes," played by the Engineer Band and "Nearer, My God, to Thee," rendered by the choir of Metropolitan Baptist Church, the band and the full assembly.
The invocation was by Rev. J.L. Brenizer of Cushing Camp, No. 30, Sons of Veterans.
Remarks by Dr. Johnson
Following him was the junior vice department commander, in charge of the services.
"Like all other patriotic men and women throughout our country," he said, "we who reside at the capital of the nation are assembled on this sacred day, with the sunlight of heaven shining upon us and the approval and blessing of God, for the purpose of strewing beautiful flowers upon the graves of our departed soldiers, sailors and marines and to commemorate in song, poetry and oratory their heroic deeds on fields of battle and on ships of war, as defenders and preservers of the glorious heritage secured for us by the sacrifice of many precious lives and endurance of the most extreme hardships on the part of our ancestors, that they, their children and all future generations born in this country might dwell in a land of freedom secure in the enjoyment of liberty, peace, happiness and prosperity.
"The American patriots who for eight long weary years were engaged in a desperate struggle with a foreign tyrannical nation in their resistance to oppression and unjust laws, and to obtain their national independence are enshrined in the hearts of the American people and their heroic deeds will never be forgotten, for they by their valor and suffering, secured for us the blessing of free government by creating a free republic. But today we are assembled for the express purpose of offering our tribute of love and gratitude to the men who, in the years of 1861 to 1865, went forth in the flower of their young manhood to preserve the union of states and to perpetuate on a firm and lasting foundation a national government whose authority should be supreme, and which no state forming a part hereof should ever thereafter question or seek to destroy by withholding its support or by armed resistance.
"We thank God that even by the arbitrament of war, with all its horrors, secession was destroyed and a national government maintained, to live, we hope, as long as time shall last, under whose protecting laws the citizens of every state of our Union are secured alike in their personal liberty and national rights.
"The men of 1861 to 1865 who fought to perpetuate our Union, whose bodies are entombed in our national and other cemeteries, who all unknown and unmarked graves on fields of battle, in the wilderness and by the roadside, together with the remnant of that once mighty host who, by the providence of God, still survives, made us what we are today, the most powerful among the civilized nations of the earth.
"Our hearts are today filled with patriotic devotion to the country we love so well, whose noble mission among nations is to teach and practice peace upon earth and good will toward mankind; and our hearts are also filled with gratitude to the brave defenders of our country and flag, so that we are inspired to raise our voices in thanksgiving and praise to the God of nations for its mercy and blessing bestowed upon us as a people.
"Let us all, therefore, offer fully into the spirit of the beautiful and impressive memorial services about to take place in this city of the dead, in which lie in peaceful repose the bodies of many of those who so freely offered their services to their country in the war of the rebellion.
"By the mercy and providence of God, many of us who participated in that war have been spared to witness the fruition of our hopes of a fully restored Union and the magnificent prosperity to which we have attained as a nation, and our hearts throb with patriotic pride that we were permitted to engage in the noble and sacred duty of helping to maintain the Union and liberty of our country. But like the autumn leaves which fall silently one by one until all rest upon the bosom of mother earth, we are passing rapidly away, one by one and ere long we shall all have been placed by the side of our comrades who have gone before to sleep until the glorious resurrection morn.
"From what we have seen on these annual Decoration days we are strong in our faith that our services to our country on land and sea will never be forgotten, but that on each sacred Memorial day the American people who love their country and honor us for its defense in time of war will place upon our graves fragrant flowers as a memento that a grateful nation holds us in loving remembrance.
"We who served our country in the war of the rebellion have no malice or resentment in our hearts toward the brave men with whom we were in conflict, but in a spirit of kindness and forgiveness for the great wrong they committed in attempting to destroy the best government ever established upon earth, we will gladly clasp hands in everlasting friendship across the graves of our departed comrades and say; God grant that the day may never come again in this fair land when father shall be arrayed against son and brother against brother in the shedding of blood; that the men of the north and of the south may be united in one common brotherhood and dwell together in peace and unity, that contention may never arise to disturb our peaceful and happy relationship, and that the spirit of emulation will inspire us to perform the patriotic duties of citizenship for the honor and glory of our beloved country.
Music and Elocution
Mrs. Arthur G. Dunn sang "The Rest of the Brave" and following her Lincoln's Gettysburg address was recited by Col. George C. Ross of Burnside Post, No. 8, G.A.R. The Metropolitan Church Choir sang Eichberg's "To Thee, O Country." Principal Musician Wintermeyer rendered a cornet solo, "Inflammatus," from "Stabat Mater," accompanied by the Engineer Band. The choir also sang "America" in which the entire assembly joined, and Mrs. Arthur G. Dunn sang "Speed Our Republic." Chopin's "Funeral March" was played by the band and Col. John A. Joyce of Kit Carson Post, No. 2, G.A.R., recited an original poem.
Oration by Judge Seeds
Judge Edward P. Seeds of Iowa was the orator of the day.
"The sacrifices and valor of these men whose memories and achievements we honor today," he said, "secured for our people an undismembered Union and freed it from an institution which was a reflection upon the growing ethical consciousness of the world and a weakness to our citizenship, both materially and morally.
"Their victories made possible the strong nation which now challenges the wonder and admiration of the world; a nation which in strength, wealth, population and other material factors takes its position in the forefront of the nations of the earth.
"All this fills us with pride and too frequently with an overmastering vanity. We forget the essence of things in admiring their material wrappings. Their battles resulted in a victory which meant a larger and more splendid country; but country in reality is not measured by areas and populations and wealth aggregation, but in good citizenship and opportunity for developing the man and woman as such.
"These things are a matter of character, and character is essentially a realization in the individual and social consciousness of great ideas of righteousness. The conflict of forty-odd years ago was not alone a material contest; it was rather a contention to determine which of two views of a great idea should dominate the actions of our people for centuries to follow. These men decided that idea in favor of practical and not theoretical freedom.
"We enter into their victory only as we recognize that there are still other great ideas pressing for recognition; that this nation is not a saved nation until every error which presents itself is eliminated from government and the consciousness of the people. The time calls for just as brave men and women as in the time of the civil war; a courage just as marked; a valor just as pronounced and heroism just as necessary.
"Whether the hosts of the liquor business shall dictate the character of our moral fiber, whether the greed of unregulated corporate wealth shall modify the ethics of a Christian ideal, whether the selfish and unreasoning conflict between capital and labor shall drive further apart a citizenship that should be brotherly and helpful--all these involve mighty ideals which call for the devoted adhesion of all men and women who are the legitimate heirs of the men who offered their lives that this nation might live. If it is to live it will be because we who are now upon the battlefields, do loyal and courageous work for the right as we see the right, and rest not until every flag that stands for individual and social wrong is pulled down forever."
Benediction was pronounced by Rev. J.L. Brenizer.
The Evening Star, May 30, 1909
Senator Clapp Delivers Oration; Flags Fly on Graves
Scores upon scores of tiny flags flying above graves in Congressional cemetery marked the last resting places of the veterans in honor of whose memory the exercises in that burial ground were held today. Congressional cemetery is not a national cemetery, but many veterans of the civil, Mexican and Spanish American wars are buried there.
George C. Ross, junior vice department commander, was in charge of the exercises and was assisted by A.F. Dinsmore, commander of Farragut Post, No. 10; T.A. Green, C.N.B. Nicholson, B.F. Graham, G.R. Cook and Milton Drennan.
After reveille and a selection by the United States Engineer Band the choir of the Metropolitan Baptist Church and the assembly sang "Nearer, My God, to Thee." Junior Vice Department Commander Ross made the introductory remarks and Rev. Charles L. Neibel pronounced the invocation. Mrs. Arthur G. Dunn and the choir sang "Tenting On the Old Camp Ground" and Dr. Andrew J. Huntoon read Lincoln's Gettysburg address, after which Dr. W.P. Hoofnagle and the choir sang "Speed Our Republic."
Following a selection by the band-a transcription of "Abide With Me"-Senator Moses E. Clapp of Minnesota was introduced as the orator of the day and paid eloquent tribute to the soldier dead.
Senator Clapps' Speech
Senator Clapp said in part:
"There is something in his nature which prompts a man to lift himself above the interests of self, above the interests of home and consecrate himself upon the altar of his country. We read the stories of other sacrifices--Thermopylae, the worse than useless charge of the Light Brigade--but they scarcely stir our hearts because they were in vain. But the stories of your sacrifices, and of the heroes who lie buried in this sacred ground will echo down the ages because of the achievement for human liberty."
"Because of the sacrifice of the boys of '61, the boys of '98 were inspired to go forth that an alien race might be free."
"It has been said that it were better to have bought the slaves of '61 and set them free, but your sacrifices were better, far than any such compromise with wrong."
In closing, Senator Clapp paid a special tribute to the women of '61, who sent their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers forth to the conflict.
Mrs. Dunn sang "The Rest of the Brave," the band played a funeral march, Miss Sarah Willard Howe read an ode entitled "The Thinning of the Ranks," and after a soprano solo by Miss Nellie Southard and the singing of "America" by the assembly, Rev. C.L. Neibel pronounced the benediction.
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