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I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion. If silence is ever golden, it must be here, beside the graves of fifteen thousand men, whose lives were more significant than speech, and whose death was a poem, the music of which can never be sung. With words we make promises, plight faith, praise virtue. Promises may not be kept, plighted faith may be broken, and vaunted virtue be only the cunning mask of vice. We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke: but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue. James A. Garfield

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I am oppressed with a sense of the impropriety of uttering words on this occasion If silence is ever golden it must be here beside the graves of fifteen thousand men whose lives were more significant than speech and whose death was a poem the music of which can never be sung With words we make promises plight faith praise virtue Promises may not be kept plighted faith may be broken and vaunted virtue be only the cunning mask of vice We do not know one promise these men made one pledge they gave one word they spoke: but we do know they summed up and perfected by one supreme act the highest virtues of men and citizens For love of country they accepted death and thus resolved all doubts and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue James A Garfield

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