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[229] passing years, an inspiration and a blessing to the people in their generations as they come and go. Deputed by the Governor to perform this pleasing but solemn duty, and speaking in his stead, on behalf of the great people who make the State, I accept it for them as a shrine where their patriotism will never forget to pay its worship. Let us remember, according to the inscription on its base, this monument has been secured and consecrated by the women of Alabama a memorial to the heroism of all our soldiers and sailors, of those who are living as of those who are dead. That devotion to duty which marked the shining pathway of the Confederate soldiers and sailors, to their own undying fame, is not merely a glorious episode of the past, a thing for memory and for epitaphs, but in the persons of those who survive is still a living and a breathing claim on our gratitude and reverence. As the State and people shall honor them, so shall this pile of stone and bronze be not a tribute which we have gathered to feed our vanity and pride, but a blessed emblem and outward show of what is in our heart of hearts.


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