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 so noble, so unselfish, so gifted, and of such self-sacrificing heroism. All honor and glory be unto Thee, O, Lord, that Thou hast honored our land in the gift of Robert E. Lee! And we would present this monument to the whole world, to preserve in the hearts of all good men and for all time the memory of one whom even his enemies honor, and to whom we can look up as a shining light in all things that make men good and great, and who in his noble deeds and Christian spirit has proved himself faithful and true to God and man. But, oh! Father of Mercies, we most humbly and prayerfully beseech Thee to bless that noble example to those among whom he lived and labored and suffered—a household blessing in every home in Virginia and the South! May his memory be hallowed to what we may call his people! May it be, and remain and grow more and more an influence for good in all that is true and honest and just and pure and lovely and of good report, every virtue, every praise, as indeed it was the great prayer and effort of his heart to his dying day, in token of which when the sword was sheathed he consecrated the last years of his life to the noble work of using all his God-given power and influence to the training, education, and elevation of the young, who are the hope of the country—the noblest work for the noblest of men. Oh! may his name, his example, his teaching, be the heirloom of his glorious life, and his influence in all our hearts give undying value to the monument which we now unveil in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, whose is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
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