페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

SERVICES AT THE TOMB OF WASHINGTON Ceremonies at Tomb of Washington, Mount Vernon, Va., September 17, 1937. The Rt. Rev. James E. Freeman, Bishop of Washington, Hon. Sol Bloom, Gen. S. Gardner Waller, Adjutant General of Virginia, and Col. Joseph Dutton, of Virginia

Sons of the Revolution

[graphic]

convention, wherever they may lie. The flag of our country waves over them. Their bones are a part of the land they loved--a free land, a grateful and loyal land. Their souls, as part and parcel of the Constitution, can never die.

We stand near the body of George Washington. We feel the presence of his spirit. From this marble no voice comes to our earthly ear, but we have his parting words, his counsel and farewell. On the eve of his retirement to Mount Vernon he told his countrymen that their constant support was the prop of his efforts and the guarantee of the success of his plans. And then he added this blessing, which comes to us now like a benediction:

Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that Heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence—that your union & brotherly affection may be perpetual—that the free constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained—that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue—that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete, by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection-and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.

In these words we hear the voice of our country's father, admonishing us to maintain sacredly the free Constitution. And we hear him counsel us to preserve the Union as the pillar of liberty itself. These sentiments, he says,

will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment. The Unity of Government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you.—It is justly so;—for it is a main Pillar in the Edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home; your peace abroad; of your safety ;-of your prosperity ;-of that very Liberty which you so highly prize.... it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective & individual happiness;—that you should cherish a cordial, habitual & immoveable attachment to it; . . . The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.

Let us cherish these counsels from him who lies before us; and let us trust that 150 years from now, and for all future time, Americans may come as we do and lay the wreath of gratitude and affection upon the tomb of Washington.

[graphic][ocr errors]

CEREMONIES AT TOMB OF WASHINGTON
Services at the Tomb of George Washington, Mount Vernon, September 17, 1937. Mr. Bloom, Bishop Freeman, and

General Waller.

[graphic]

DEDICATION OF THE SHRINE OF THE CONSTITUTION
Dedication of the Shrine of the Constitution, February 28, 1924; Dr. Herbert Putnam (Librarian of the Library of Congress),

President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, Representative Martin B. Madden, and others.

[blocks in formation]

ADDRESS OF HONORABLE SOL BLOOM Director General, United States CONSTITUTION SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMISSION, AT THE SHRINE OF THE CONSTITUTION IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, CITY OF WASHINGTON, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1937, at 3:45 P. M., BROADCAST AT THE HOUR THAT THE SIGNING OF THE CONSTITUTION

[ocr errors]

WAS COMPLETED

ONE HUNDRED fifty years ago today, at this hour, the members of the Philadelphia Convention signed the Constitution of the United States. The document, engrossed upon four large sheets of parchment, lay upon the table before George Washington, president of the convention and deputy from Virginia.

I am now standing in the Library of Congress in Washington, and before me lies the original Constitution of the United States—the same document that felt the touch of George Washington's hand 150 years ago at this very hour.

Here is his signature—a bold, clear hand, with the ink as fresh as if he had signed it yesterday—“Go Washington, President and Deputy from Virginia.”

As the deputies came forward to sign the Constitution they were grouped according to their states. They signed in geographical order, with New Hampshire first and Georgia last.

As we look upon this yellow parchment, with its familiar opening line, "We the People of the United States," we can imagine the scene of 150 years ago, in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The deputies had worked incessantly since May 25, all through a hot summer. The convention was in session eighty-eight days, but even when not in session the deputies were constantly meeting, conferring, discussing points of difference, reconciling disputes, hammering out on the anvil of debate the majestic form of the United States government.

Now, on the 17th day of September, they were gathered to sign and seal the finished work. As I glance down at these names their figures seem to stand before me. I see Benjamin Franklin, somewhat bowed with

age, his keen eyes twinkling behind enormous spectacles. He is chatting with a younger man of fresh complexion and handsome features-Alexander Hamilton of New York. There, near by, is a rather tall figure, and I notice that he walks with hasting gait as he advances to sign the Constitution. I see now the reason-he has lost

— one leg, and walks upon a wooden stump. It is Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania. It was he who collected the various resolutions passed by the convention, and arranged them in the symmetrical form we know as the Constitution of the United States. To him, more than to any other, we are indebted for the solemn language of the Preamble.

[ocr errors]
« 이전계속 »