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[299] united country, and grant that the States of this Union, North and South, may be hereafter one and inseparable in bonds of indissoluble and perpetual union.

And now, O Lord, we thank Thee for the nobler past of the States lately forming the Southern Confederacy, for their courage, self-sacrifice, devotion to duty, and all those national characteristics which commanded the admiration of the civilized world. We bless Thee for the precious heritage of glory bequeathed by the South to succeeding generations. And we beseech Thee to cause our beloved section to advance in all just and righteous prosperity. Above all, give unto us loyalty to Thee and to the institutions of sound morality and true religion.

Accept, most merciful God, this statue, we pray Thee, which we have erected as a memorial of Southern valor and as an object-lesson to inspire our youth with love of country and patriotic deeds. Grant that it may long withstand the war of the elements and the crumbling tooth of time. Grant that generations yet unborn in looking upon this embodiment in bronze of the most exhalted manhood and soldiership may emulate and even surpass the character and conduct of their sires. Bless our aged veterans and all the volunteers. Bless us all. And, finally, when we have fought the fight and won the victory admit us, through the riches of Thy grace, into the eternal home of the soul, there to meet again those who have gone before. “And Thine shall be the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” Amen.

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