Friday, September 22, 2017

Welcome to Lafayette by Edward Everett

       Welcome, friend of our fathers, to our shores. Happy are our eyes that behold those venerable features. Enjoy a triumph such as never conqueror or monarch enjoyed - the assurance that, throughout America, there is not a bosom that does not beat with joy and gratitude at the sound of your name. You have already met and saluted, or will soon meet, the few that remain of the ardent patriots, prudent counselors, and brave warriors, with whom you were associated in achieving our liberties. But you have looked around in vain for the faces of many who would have lived years of pleasure on a day like this, with their old companion in arms and brother in peril.
       Lincoln and Greene and Knox and Hamilton are gone! The heroes of Saratoga and Yorktown have fallen before the only foe they could not meet! Above all, the first of heroes and of men, the friend of your youth, the more than friend of his country, rests in the bosom of the soil he has redeemed. On the banks of the Potomac, he lies in glory and in peace. You will revisit the hospitable shades of Mount Vernon; but him whom you venerated, as we did, you will not meet at its door. His voice of consolation, which reached you in the Austrian dungeons, can not now break its silence to bid you welcome to his own roof.
       But the grateful children of America will bid you welcome in his name. Welcome, thrice welcome, to our shores; and whithersoever, throughout the limits of the continent, your course shall take you, the ear that hears you shall bless you; the eye that sees you shall bear witness to you; and every tongue exclaim with heartfelt joy: ''Welcome, welcome, Lafayette!"

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