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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

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Today is known, at least to the outside world, as Decoration Day. It has been the custom of our college government to pass by this occasion without any notice or comment, although one has but to glance at the long array of tablets which line the transept at Memorial Hall to bring fresh to his mind the sons of Harvard who willingly laid down their lives that the Union might be in fact as well as in word a Union. The college authorities may be unable to observe with appropriate ceremonies this day, but let us at least, the students of the college, remember as we pursue our daily walks today the sacrifice which our friends and relatives gladly underwent that our government might be kept firm and united. If we cannot show our appreciation of this sacrifice by annual ceremonies, we can feel as we sit within the hall erected to their memory that their deeds have been honored in a far better way than lies within our power.

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