Armory holds memorial for McKinley

September 20,

The drill hall at the Armory was crowded yesterday morning with students, faculty and east-side residents, who met for the one purpose of doing honor to the memory of the nation’s beloved chief. As the last strains of Chopin’s funeral march, played by the University band, died away University President William Northrop in a few simple words called the meeting to order and introduced the Reverend Mr. Mill who offered a beautiful and touching prayer.
Dean Pattee followed him with an address, in which he thoughtfully went over the life of the nation’s president and the lesson it taught. He claimed that President William McKinley was not as great an orator as Webster, as unique a debator as Lincoln, as grand a logician as Sumner, but he was great because he combined the features of all, as Mr. Pattee described it, he was intellectually symmetrical. He made a simile of the sight of a ship in a fog out at sea.
When the fog lifted from the detail, the greatness, the wonderful part of the vast structure was shown. So was it with the dead president. In the turmoil of political strife, the fog of modern ideas, the greatness of the man was obscured. Now the great calamity has lifted the mists and rolled them away, and the beauty of the manhood that had been partially obscured broke upon the nation. The dean thanked God that there was now in the chair made vacant by the death of McKinley a man to succeed him, equally noble, unselfish and patriotic.
Following the dean’s address Professor West paid a noble tribute to Mr. McKinley as a man, statesman and president and made an earnest plea for calmness in dealing with the anarchists. He said in part:
“President McKinley died as had lived, an upright, Christian man. As president his administration had been one of the most important in the history of the country. No other president, not Washington, not Lincoln, has been so warmly loved by the entire people, uniting all parts of the country, north and south, east and west, as no other man could.
“The wretch who struck that undefended president thought to strike a blow at all forms of government. What shall we do with such as he? Let us not do anything unbecoming our traditions regarding personal liberty. Let us not act while blinded by grief or rage. It is not for us to act rashly in our corporate capacity as a nation. I believe that the collected wisdom of the nation will give the true solution.”
In a voice trembling with emotion Mr. Northrop then spoke to the audience, addressing his remarks especially to the student body.
“A nation that honors the memory of a Lincoln, a Garfield, a McKinley is a nation that will retain for all times the institutions established by our fathers. I have no fear for the nation.
“A man now forty-three years of age fills the presidential chair, the youngest president of any we have ever had. Theodore Roosevelt is my ideal of a stalwart man. May God guard him from the bullet and dagger of the assassin. May the memory of the dead president be as dear to us in all future as it is in the present time.”
After finishing his address Northrop paused for a moment and then reverently said: “The songs that hovered on President McKinley’s lips as he passed away, will be sung by the audience, led by the band: ‘Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee.’ “