Governor Lee called the vast crowd to order and said—
Citizens and Comrades,—As Governor of Virginia I am by law a member of the Lee Monument Association, and by the action of the association I am its president. The duty, therefore, devolves upon me of calling this vast assemblage to order. The ceremonies now about to commence mark an event not only in the history of Virginia and its capital city, but are of great interest to all sections where the heroism of the Southern soldier is appreciated and remembered. The proceedings here will now be opened by a prayer from Richmond's distinguished divine, the Rev. Dr. Hoge.