previous next

[p. 37] not into angels, but into citizens. Citizens they are, nothing more and nothing less; and, as citizens and human beings, they have as much right to instruction and development as they have right to food. At this moment, they ask of us this bread: shall we give them a stone?

This granite pillar seems to connect itself with all the parts and questions of our civil war. It calls up the marvellous ingenuity of our people, shown from the iron-clads and cannon to defend our cities, and destroy our enemies, to the Sanitary Commission to heal our wounded, and feed our hungry; from man in his noble daring, to woman in her angel ministries.

Soldiers and fellow-citizens, we now solemnly bequeath this hallowed monument to our succeeding generations in Medford. Let it stand in its simple power, protected, not only from sacrilegious hands, but from thoughtless fracture, misplaced pencillings, and offensive scratches. Let nothing be done to it that can lessen its silent eloquence, or destroy its patriotic design.

We have given it in our hearts to our successors. When your children's children shall read the history of our dreadful war, and understand its momentous tendencies, then will they come to this consecrated monument, blackened as it will be by the storms of a century, and read with swelling hearts the names of the Medford volunteers who sacrificed their lives in defence of the Union. Fifty years hence, let the hoary-headed soldier come, and kneel in prayer as he calls to mind the young friend who fell at his side. Here let the aged mother come to read the name of her patriot son. Here let the statesman come to learn what union and liberty have cost. Here let the historian come to meditate on those central truths which shape the destinies of the world. Here let the poet come, and celebrate in sweetest lays the victories of truth and the triumph of right. Here let love come, that it may carry away inspiration; and beauty come, that she may leave here her garlands.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: