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Address by Senator Barkley
Mr. BARKLEY. Mr. President, though the fitness of the time was not altogether realized when the ceremonies of this day were ordered, it strikes me as being eminently appropriate that on this, the 29th day of May, we should pause in our legislative duties to pay our feeble words of respect and honor to the two distinguished Senators who are being memorialized today, for tomorrow all over America the countless dead will sleep beneath a wilderness of flowers, and the butterfly, ancient emblem of immortality, will flutter over every grave.
I always feel how inadequate are our efforts to pay tribute to our friends, whether they hold high station or whether they walk in the humbler paths of life, where the sun of publicity never shines, for in the hour of grief, when the sable drapery of mourning is drawn in heavy folds around us, silence itself is sometimes more eloquent and impressive than the chaste rhetoric of the scholar, or the flowing declamations of the orator. In the ministrations of affliction the downcast, full, and drooping eye sometimes speaks the sentiments of the heart in language more touching and truthful than the polished utterances of the eulogist, or the glowing phrases, clothed in beautiful imagery of the poet.
Mr. President, on an occasion such as this our minds naturally revert to the more solid and substantial things of life. We all love life, and though it be extended beyond the years of apparent usefulness, we cling to it. All nature loves life. Although knowing not life's value, the infant clings to its mother's neck in the hour of danger, and when the storm approaches the sparrow beats its own life out against the windowpane in its effort to preserve its life. We are reminded of the beautiful poem of Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Last Leaf, in which he describes how tensely, through the autumn and winter months, the last leaf clings to the tree, and he concludes
Let them smile, as I do now,
Where I cling. What is this thing, Mr. President, about which we are talking today? We are not all endowed equally with intellect, or physical strength, or the power of description, or with financial genius, and those of us who sit in this distinguished body, like those who have gone before us and those who will follow us, are no doubt prone to puff ourselves up a little because of the possession of some temporary power or authority conferred upon us by a confiding constituency. But in the final assessment of the value of men's lives, who shall say that the man who sits in the Senate, or on the judge's bench, or in the Governor's chair, renders greater service to society than the man who, in the middle of the street, digs a ditch in order that a wire or pipe or cable may be laid to bring heat and light and comfort to the people?
"Bob" Ingersoll was one of America's greatest orators. He had the power of imagery and was a master of beautiful description and elegant diction. He described life as "a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities." He spent a large portion of his life seeking to destroy the faith men and women had in a traditional re ion. Yet with all his doubt and his agnosticism, when he stood one day by the grave of his brother, he uttered the beautiful sentiment, "In the hour of death, hope sees a star, and listening love hears the rustle of a wing."
Mr. President, I served with Senator COPELAND, and I honored and respected him. We did not always agree on the details of legislation, and that is perfectly natural. This would be a monotonous world if all the 2,000,000,000 men and women in it thought the same thoughts and harbored within their hearts the same sentiments and the same feelings. It is the friction of intellectual contact that gives life to deliberation and wisdom to final determination.
I recall one particular instance in which the fine heart of Senator COPELAND was displayed, soon after the great flood in the Ohio Valley, which destroyed more than $4,000,000,000 worth of property. I was anxious, in the closing hours of the session of Congress, to obtain some relief for the stricken people, and the legislation proposed was in charge of Senator COPELAND, as chairman of the Committee on Commerce. I recall that late one day he stood here in the Well of the Senate and would not consent to an adjournment, although tired and worn from his labors almost to the extent which characterized the last few hours of his life, until some relief had been granted to the people living in this stricken valley.
Senator COPELAND was a man of strong convictions, of deep allegiances, of high ideals. He was a man of deep religious convictions nd had all his life been an active member of the same denomination in which I myself claim membership. In all of his contests, in all of his activities, he was a gentle soul.
I have sometimes felt that the physician, the man who heals and relieves the ailments of the human body, after all, renders the greatest service that can be performed by a human being. Long before he ever attained high office, long before he had any ambition to attain high ofice, in countless places and in countless ways that never found expression in the public press, Senator COPELAND ministered to those who suffered.
Our memories are rich in these associations. They inspire us to greater effort on our own part. They inspired us to make ourselves worthy of their companionship in the past, but they inspire us to be worthy of their hallowed memory in the years to come.
Mr. President, as I think of these Senators, not as Senators, not as public officers, not as worthy and humble bearers of distinguished honors but as human beings, I am constrained to read from Holy Writ the beautiful language of the Twenty-third Psalm:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Address by Senator Mead
Of New York
Mr. MEAD. Mr. President, we have but to wander through the Halls of this great building to learn at first-hand in what respect and admiration Dr. COPELAND was held by those who served here during his senatorial career. It is amazing that such an extremely busy man could have had the time to enlist the friendship of so many Capitol employees, even down to those in the most humble capacities. In every nook and cranny of the Capitol are men and women who found him their friend, and who took a real delight in paying him even the smallest service. The universal comment throughout the Capitol usually resolves itself into five words: “He was a great man.”
Dr. COPELAND was a beloved man among the great and the small because he was intensely human, kind, and generous. While he and I served at opposite ends of the Capitol, I had many occasions to feel the strength of his friendship.
Members of the Senate know far better than I can hope to express the scope of his fairness and his kindness. He was a man who stood valiantly by his convictions—one who fought fairly in every debate. They know how indefatigably he labored and how unselfishly he served the causes he thought to be just.
As a devoted husband and father Dr. COPELAND lived an exemplary home life, and found his deepest happiness with his family, surrounded by those he loved, those who so dearly loved him. He gained peace of mind and strength to carry on his many official duties through the companionship and the inspiration of his good wife and family. He thoroughly enjoyed his home, and liked to return to Suffern, in Rockland County, there to be among his intimate friends