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 brave people struggle everywhere, and without which there is no peace. Secession itself was a mere incident in the application of this principle. So great was the attachment to the principles of union, and so little was the right of secession cherished in itself, that its assertion was wrung from the South only by the conviction of some States that they could no longer live in the Union in peace and honor, and by the dread alternative presented others by the call from Washington for troops to draw the sword for or against their own flesh and blood. If the defeated Confederate soldier did not immediately vindicate the right of a State to order its own domestic affairs, even at the expense of Union, neither did the victorious Northern soldier vindicate any principle of Union, without regard to the just rights of the States. I speak not now of that mere physical Union, like the chain which bands Ireland and England, but of that living, breathing soul of liberty, which binds co-equal States in unison of happiness around the common altar of the Constitution. The Union of the fathers, like the rights of the States, was dead for twelve long years after the war. Neither came back until the heart of the North, better understanding itself and the South, abandoned the dream of force, and President Hayes—to whom I am glad to pay this tribute—speaking in the name of Union, declared that the bayonet could not rule, and ‘the flag should float over States, not Provinces.’ With that, Union came back inevitably, as night follows day, recognition of the great principle that the safety and happiness of the American people and the future of Constitutional liberty, depend not more on Union than on equality of the States, and the right to work out their own destiny around their own firesides; and that one is not complete without the other. This principle, which underlies all real liberty and happiness, stands to-day, thank God, upright and unchallenged in the hearts of the American people. Of a truth, then, we may declare that ‘the grand army of martyrs, which is still marching onward beyond the stars,’ which fought at last, not for secession or slavery, but for the right of a State to govern itself in all that pertains solely to itself, have not died in vain. “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee”—was written not alone of those whose name and blood we inherit, but as well of generations which have borne the heat and burden of days that are behind us. A people may neglect the command and forfeit the promise
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