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[301]

Gathering place of heroes

“What a gathering place of heroes,” he said, ‘Ah! Virginians, far distant be the day when the story of the glorious deeds of your glorious men shall be forgotten. Ah! fellow-citizens, I do not, no one can, wonder at your sublime faith, as you feel you are the descendants of the noblest men the world has ever known. Noble sons of veterans, making your way proudly in the world, you have no pensions to sustain you (loud and prolonged applause); nothing to rely upon except your individual efforts; the world is all before you, in which to make your way, and there are none better qualified.’

The speaker paid high compliments to the fidelity and zeal of Congressman Lamb and Jones. In allusion to the honored guest of the evening, Judge DeArmond said: In the short war many opportunities were afforded the soldiers of the North, but few comparatively to the soldiers of the South, but with the scant opportunities given, the hero of the Spanish-American war is before you to-night. (Loud cheers.) But for that gallant soldier, but for his skill and discretion, the story of Santiago, El Caney and San Juan Hill would have been written differently. (A voice: ‘That's right,’ and cheers.) There would have been dropping back and defeat. ‘History can't be written with the Confederate soldier left out,’ said Judge DeArmond, and this statement was greeted with much laughter and applause. He paid his compliments again to the pension laws, and concluded by again expressing appreciation of the honor shown him, and expressing the ardent hope that through the coming years the sons of noble sires will keep alive in their camps the spirit of nobility of their fathers. Virginians must in future, as in the past, ‘blaze the way,’ and stand as a solid phalanx against wrong. When Virginia charges, we shall all know what the charge ought to be against.

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