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[311] reference to the significance of the occasion in the followingwords:

The truest characteristic of a good soldier is respect for a fallen foe. How often in our service have we known military honors and Christian burial to be accorded to the fallen of either side by those who were their foes. If such service was appropriate amid the exigencies of war, how much more becoming now in this time of peace, when those who were our foes have become our friends.

The comrades of the G. A. R., who have honored themselves by their presence here in honor of this dead soldier, are greater than when they stood in line of battle in the face of rattling musketry and amid the storm of fiery shot and bursting shell. Such deeds enrich our own lives; they exemplify the golden rule, and bring us ‘nearer, my God, to Thee.’

The greatest mystery to every man is the mystery of his own existence. As we grope blindly through this world, seemingly driven hither and thither by every wind of fate, how often the questions rise trembling to our lips—Whence, why, whither? We are what we are by reason of birth, heredity, education and environment. Why was it, comrades, the fate of this soldier to fight under the Stars and Bars and yours to fight beneath the Stars and Stripes? Who can tell? Enough for us that each fought for the right, as God gave him to see the right. So in the spirit of true fraternity and heavenly charity, the fundamental tenets of our order, we lay this soldier to rest, the gray beside the blue, in the great republic of the dead, ‘under the roses, the blue; under the lilies, the gray.’

Let us fervently trust that in the clearer light beyond, with all doubts solved, all misunderstandings removed, all estrangements effaced, they may meet and greet each other as friends and brothers in the republic of heaven.

Soldier, hail and farewell. Rest in peace until the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

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