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Grand Army of the Republic
AUGUST 29TH AND 30TH, 1900
UPON THE OPENING OF THE
Thirty-fourth National Encampment
GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
AT THE STUDEBAKER HALL IN CHICAGO, ILLINOIS,
AUGUST 19, 1900, AT 10 A. M.
The Hon. Carter H. Harrison, Mayor of the City of Chicago, was introduced and extended the welcome of the city in these terms: Commander-in-Chief Shaw and Gentlemen of the Grand Army of
the Republic :
I esteem it a high privilege to be permitted on behalf of the City of Chicago, the metropolis of the great northwest, to extend its official greeting to the Grand Army of the Republic, and in its name to welcome each and every member of your association to our hearths, our homes and our hearts. Chicago is at all times a hospitable city. Its latch string is ever hanging on the outside and all its visitors may count with absolute certainty upon receiving from the citizens that western welcome which springs from the heart and feels itself amply repaid when made the recipient of a warm handclasp from those whom it delights to bid welcome and to honor. If Chicago's greeting to the stranger within its gates be always warm and spontaneous, what must it be when that guest is the great organization of men who for four long years braved all the dangers of disease, wounds and death, who suffered from all the privations of the most savage of all conflicts, civil strise, and all from a pure, unselfish devotion to the best interests of our common country?
Thirty-fourth National Encampment
The people of Chicago regard the Grand Army of the Republic as the living embodiment of the vital principle of patriotism, which, from 1861 to 1865, never for a moment faltered in its determination that this union of States should remain one and inseparable.
The records of the world since the dawn of civilization are bright with the deeds of bravery and daring and countless acts of the most devoted patriotism, but nowhere in all history can we find a counterpart of the record of this Nation during the civil war when an almost countless army of patriots forsook their homes and firesides, trusted their loved ones to the mercy of God, that this government of freemen, the first in all the world, might remain mighty and intact, and ever be a beacon light of civilization, of progress and of liberty.
Wherever our people live we have the same traditions to teach our children for the gratification of our own pride and for their instruction. We have a common past and a common future. For this condition the thanks of the Nation are due to the soldiers of the early sixties, who, with shot and shell, with drawn sabre and lowered bayonet, hurled back to defeat every attack upon the integrity of the Union. The people of Chicago, in common with all the Nation, appreciative of your services, bid you a welcome so hearty and so warm, that if the thanks of a grateful community count for anything you may feel in some measure repaid for the trials, the dangers and the sufferings of the past. Chicago is yours, not only for to-day but for all days.
The Commander-in-Chief, Albert D. Shaw, responded as follows: Mayor Ilarrison, Ladies and Gentlemen :
The comrades of the Grand Army are deeply touched by the splendor of Chicago's welcome and the wealth of her boundless hospitality. Your eloquent words find an echo in every heart before you, and over all this broad land they will charm and delight the ageing heroes of other times and other scenes, when war's horrid sacrifices filled the Nation with mourning. Such unexcelled evidences of the patriotism and appreciative gratitude of your citizens as we see on every hand on this great occasion of our Thirty-fourth Annual Encampment, touch us almost to tears, for it is “sweet to