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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

MEMORIAL DAY SERVICES.

Much of Present Interest in Professor Shaler's Address.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

The Memorial Services were held yesterday at noon in Sanders Theatre under the auspices of the Harvard Memorial Society. After the opening prayer by the Rev. Geo. A. Gordon, D. D., the Glee Club led the audience in singing "Fair Harvard." In introducing Professor Shaler, the speaker, Col. T. W. Higginson ended his remarks as follows: "The right of free criticism on the conduct of affairs is invaluable and must be granted to every man, just as is granted the right to die for his country. Very often the same moral courage which strengthens a man for the one, strengthens him for the other. Professor Shaler has been tried by both tests."

Professor Shaler said briefly: We come to the graves of those who gave their lives to save the state from ruin, not with sorrow but with hope. The dead no longer are ours; they belong to history. We now think only of their value to the state. They did not give their lives to win our sorrow or to gain the fame of posterity; all that they gave they gave for their country. They were indeed men of arms. The Union soldiers did not take up arms for war's sake, but for the sole reason that there was no other way to obtain the end they sought.

The fist lesson of their lives is that the young citizen should take no counsel of his feas in attacking an evil to the state; another is that the remedy of war, though heroic, is sometimes costly almost beyond utility, and is justified only by the certainty of failure of all other means.

When the country is in no danger it is necessary for the youth to consider not only his duty to his family, but to himself as an element of influence in the commonwealth. The needs of defense are not so much at the ports or on the sea as in the very hearts of our political institutions.

The real hero is not the unthinking man, as in the fine old picture, but is critical and rather pessimistic. Let him who says that criticism of government is unpatriotic go learn the primer of citizenly rights. The right of free speech is one of our choicest acquisitions as the result of war, and war must not interfere with it. This realm knows no state of siege which closes the mouths of men.

The memory of those fallen and yet to fall in the present war will be as dear as that of our past heroes. If we keep to our declared policy of war only for the liberation of Cuba, then they will have an enduring place in history. If, in the end, we pervert these ends, and are inspired by the lust of conquest, they will be remembered only as men of valor. Only wars of high aims leave behind imperishable names of greatness. The fate of the dead hero is in the hands of those who survive him.

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