This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 possess that attribute. The complete emancipation of our constitutional liberty must come from other quarters, but we have our part to perform, one requiring patience, prudence, fortitude, faith. A cloud of witnesses encompass us. The bronze figures on these monuments seem for the moment to be replaced by the spirits of the immortal men whose names they bear. As if an angel spoke their tones thrill our hearts. First, it is the calm voice of Washington that we hear: ‘Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.’ Then, Henry's clarion notes arouse us: ‘Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings: give us that precious jewel, and you may take all the rest!’ Then Jefferson speaks: ‘Fellow-citizens, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of government. Equal and exact justice to all men of whatsoever state or persuasion, religious or political. The support of State governments in all their rights, as the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the general government in its whole constitutional vigor as the sheet-anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; the supremacy of the civil over military authority; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith. And should we wander from these principles in moments of error and alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps, and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety.’ And last it is Jackson's clear ringing tone to which we listen: ‘What is life without honor? Degradation is worse than death. We must think of the living and of those who are to come after us, and see that by God's blessing we transmit to them the freedom we have enjoyed.’ Heaven, hear the prayer of our dead, immortal hero!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.