Milton Irwin Dunlap.

Oration delivered by Mr. M. Irwin Dunlap at memorial services at Greenfield, Ohio, September 19th, 1901 online

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Online LibraryMilton Irwin DunlapOration delivered by Mr. M. Irwin Dunlap at memorial services at Greenfield, Ohio, September 19th, 1901 → online text (page 1 of 1)
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SEPTEMBER 19th, 1901.

goodness enthroned her in the
hearts of mankind. Had she pos-
sessed greatness she would have
gone down in history as one of the
few immortals.

Napoleon was great not good. He
was ieared not loved. McKinley was
both great and good. He was loved
not feared by his friends and he is
one of the few who will not be for-
gotten when marble crumbles and
bronze doth fade.

The most eloquent of all Ameri-
cans standing at the tomb of Na-
poleon weighed him in the balance
and found him wanting. Realizing
his greatness he deplored the ab-
sence of goodness when he said "I
thought of the orphans and widows
he had made — of the tears that had
been shed for his glory, and of the
only woman that ever loved him,
pushed from his heart by the cold
hand of ambition. And I said I
would rather have been a French
peasant, and worn wooden shoes; I
would rather have lived in a hut
with a vine growing over the door,
and the grapes growing purple in
the kisses of the autumn sun, I
would rather have been that poor
peasant with my loving wife by my
side, knitting as the day died out of
the sky; I would rather have been
that man and gone down to the
tongueless silence of the dreamless
dust than to have been Napoleon
the Great."

Thank God this eloquent but

scathing denunciation cannot be
hurled at the man we love. He
was Napoleon and peasant com-
bined. He rose from a humble po-
sition to an exalted station by his
own effort, but his ambition never
stifled the impulses of his heart and
his greatness never thwarted
the charitable impulses of his
nature. Orphans and widows never
shed tears for his glory. The cold
hand of ambition did not push aside
the woman who loved him.

The American people love td
think of him saber in hand dashing
forth in the defense of the flag.
They love to think of him standing
erect in the halls of Congress plead-
ing his cause with magnetism and
with power. They love to think of
him as a peer among the rulers of
the earth, but they prefer to think
of him laying aside the scepter and
the crown, turning a deaf ear to the
plaudits of the world, and in the
purple twilight sitting beside her,
who now weeps at the open grave at
Canton as she quietly knits as the
day dies out of the sky.

McKinley was a poet. His
poems are not in verse, but in epi-
gram and in prose. His mother
lies dying. The cares of State are
forgotten. The wires flash the ten-
der message — "Tell mother I am
coming" — and this poem of de-
votion, this cystallized fragrance of
the heart will be a lasting tribute to
motherhood. He loved the fields,

the flowers, the birds. "I want to
see the trees they are so beautiful,"
a poem of the soul, a poem to na-
ture by nature's nobleman.

He was a friend, loyal and true.
His ambition was great but to him
friendship was a sacred tie, a hal-
lowed plight of heart to heart
which the dreams of destiny could
not annul and the fires of ambition
could not consume. Tested above
all men in Occident or orient since
the dawn of time, tempted with the
coveted gem of Christendom, he
stood unscathed and unsullied amid
the clamor of king-makers and in
the name of friendship refused the
greatest gift in the power of man.
His life has added luster to the
charms of friendship and his re-
fusal of the highest position in the
world rather than betray a friend
will be cherished by generations
yet unborn.

The deceased President was not
an actor, he was real. He once
plucked a rose from his bosom and
placed it in the soiled hands of the
engineer who had brought him safe-
ly to his journey's end. One of the
graceful acts of which his life was
full. An act which if done by any
other would have been considered
common-place or a deed to obtain
applause. Men may act when the
skies are bright but they forget to
act in the sudden storm. His acts
and words were as noble and true in
the sudden moment of his affliction

as they were in the calm hour of re-
flection. Love for wife, charity for
the assassin, comfort of others,
flashed across his bewildered mind
as he stood on the brink of the
grave crimson with his own blood.

He possessed in a remarkable de-
gree the power of drawing all men
unto him. He was at ease in the
drawing room of kings. He was at
home in the cabin of the peasant.
This day is not a day of formality;
it is a day of grief and sadness.
The millionare leaves his desk, the
pauper leaves his hovel and weep
together because both have lost a

The plow stands in the furrow.
The music of the anvil is dead.
The spindles are idle. The spot-
less fields of Dixie are deserted.
The flag which rides on the bosom
of the deep is veiled in crepe. The
countless sons of toil, the rulers in
high places and the chiefs in the
synagogues, in imagination at least,
gather at the grave of the departed
and weeping pay a last tribute of
respect to the one so dearly loved.

He had his enemies. A woman
may live without enemies, but the
man wh© has no enemies is either a
puppet or a coward. He was loved
bv friends and feared by foes. His
enemies however were public not
personal and amid the universal
grief ot a stricken people enemy
cannot be distinguished from friend
for the sorrow of both is profound.

He was human. He had faults,
but his graces, his charity, his
virtues were so great, so command-
ing, so adorable that his defects
shall be forever blotted out and re-
membered no more against him.

Washington placed himself upon
a pedestal, a cold and super-human
being to be admired but not ap-
proached. He was great, he was
good, but his heart never beat in
sympathy with the people. Mc-
Kinley was a man of the people.
He shared their joys. He sympa-
thized in their sorrows. His heart
beat in unison with theirs and these
traits of his character will be re-
membered when people have for-
gotten that he wore a sword or
commanded the applause of the list-
ening multitude.

McKinley knew no north, no
south, no east, no west. The prime
ambition of his life was to lead the
wandering misled boys in gray back
to the old fireside and to instill in
their minds the lesson which for
thirty years had been incompre-
hensible, that their sins had been
forgiven and that the stars fnd
stripes were theirs once more.

The north was unprepared for the
lesson from the master mind. We
stood appalled, we thought our
chieftain had gone mad, when the
magnanimous McKinley stood amid
the cotton fit Ids of Dixie and issued
that wonderful decree of charity
and amnesty, that ia the providence

of God the time had come when
this government should crown with
oak her defamers and bedeck with
roses the graves of the men who had
battled for her destruction. But
when we recovered from the shock
we said "McKinleythou art right."
And when the south recovered from
her amazement she applauded her
benefactor in the spirit of fraterni-
ty. Above all men living and all
men dead, our fallen leader dis-
pelled the hostility and cemented
north and south in bonds of love.
The boys in faded gray and tattered
blue today clasp hands over the
speechless form of the great peace-
maker who was slain in the hour of
his triumph- just as the belated
doves were bringing home the olive

Assassination and not lingering
disease struck this man down in the
plenitude of his power and useful-
ness. In the words of the one near-
est and dearest "They elected him;
why did they kill him?" She did
not know that he was killed for the
sole reason that he had been elect-
ed, for the sole reason that he was
the visible embodiment of the State.
His slayer was not his personal
enemy, but an uncompromising foe
to legalized society which McKin-
ley represented.

Through the web of history runs
the crimson thread of atonement
woven by an invisible hand and I
believe by the same hand which in-

stituted divine atonement when the
veil of the temple was rent in twain.
Blood, precious human blood has
purchased and cleansed all that is
good, all that is beautiful, all this is
lovely, all that is immortal, in
home, in state, in church.

The American people were in a
lethargic sleep, and that the scales
might fall from our eyes, that the
innocent of the future might be
saved from the ravages of war with
anarchy, theinfiuite God demanded
atonement through personal sacri-
fice. And as the Jews mingled
with the incense of the altar the
perfect dove and the lamb without
blemish, so the High Priest of earth
and heaven demanded the chief, the
best, the purest and the dearest as
a sacrifice on the altar for the
safety of our country and the
honor of onr flag.

The most pathetic monument to
devotion and self sacrifice that I
have ever seen is the famous Lion of
Lucerne overlooking the placid
waters of the Swiss Lake. Carved
out of a solid cliff the noble Lion
reposes in a huge niche, suffering
the agony of death, pierced to the
heart by a poisoned dart, with his
huge paws resting upon and defend-
ing the white lilies of France.
The Lion represents the Swiss guard
who perished in the defense of a
French Queen when French
soldiers had deserted her. But to
my mind that Lion also represents

the martyred McKinley, pierced by
the dart of the anarchist while de-
fending the beautiful lilies, the
fragrant lilies, the immaculate lil-
ies of American liberty.

He died for us. His dt ath must
not be in vain. We must live true
to his memory. Soberly, dispas-
sionately, thoughtfully, without
malice but with charity for the poor
wretch who took his life, every man,
woman and child who loves the
stars and stripes should this day
raise their right hands to Almighty
God and swear by the open grave
of the slain that since anarchy kill-
ed McKinley, we shall annihilate

Allow me to paraphrase the
words of Lincoln upon the field of
Gettysburg and I am done. "It
is for us, the living, rather to be
dedicated here to the unfinished
work that he has thus far so nobly
carried on. It is rather for us to be
here dedicated to the great task re-
maining before us, that from this
honored dead we tike increased de-
votion to the cause for which he
gave the last iu 1 l measure of de-
votion; that we here highly resolve
that Wm. McKinley shall not have
died in vain; that this nation, under
God, shall have a new birth of
freedom, and that government of
the people, by the people, and for
the people, shall not perish from the

"Goodby all, Goodby! It is God's
way; His will be done."


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Online LibraryMilton Irwin DunlapOration delivered by Mr. M. Irwin Dunlap at memorial services at Greenfield, Ohio, September 19th, 1901 → online text (page 1 of 1)