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 Bless, O Lord, the self-sacrificing women of Mississippi, who, like the Marys at the foot of the cross, through weal and woe, have unfalteringly followed the varying fortune of the Confederate cause; who, in the dead hour of final defeat, with brave though bleeding hearts, have sustained the drooping spirits of the men wearing the gray, and who, out of their boundless love and fidelity to a sad but not inglorious past, have erected this superb monument to the memory of our martyred heroes. Finally, we pray Thee, O Lord, to bless the now few remaining survivors of the lost cause, who are, the most of us, being rapidly hurried on in their last march toward that bourne from whence there is no returning; and if it be Thy will that this should be our last gathering on earth, we pray Thee, O Lord, that our next grand reunion may take place under Thy heavenly tents beyond the starry skies; and that, when the roll of the Confederate army shall be called, we may be there, all present, with our once conquered but then restored banner, and thus form a halo of immortal glory around our vindicated chieftain. Departed comrades, may the sweet-scented flowers of our genial climate ever bloom over your blood-consecrated graves; may the guardian angels of the South keep their watch over your precious ashes till the last trumpet shall call you to arise and to hear from an all-righteous Judge the consoling invitation: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.’ Amen. Then Hon. C. E. Hooker, in behalf of the Ladies' Monument Association of Mississippi, made a brief but most impressive and able address in presentation of the monument to the State; after which, amid the booming of cannons, Mrs. Margaret Hays, daughter of Jefferson Davis, assisted by her little son, Jefferson Davis Hays, gracefully pulled the string that connected with the veil, and the next moment the white statue of the soldier surmounting the monument was disclosed to the eyes of those present.
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