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Mr. Suekey's Address

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Following is the oration of Mr. Paul G. Suekey on the Fourth of July, 1893, at the dedication of the flag of the Harugari Singing Society in Relief Park: Fei.low Celebrators; Ladies and Gentlemen: So swift that one scarcely notices it, has the rapid flight of fifty-two weeks brought us again to the celebration of the Glorious Fourth, and I have no objection to such a day of glory and joy, which reminds us and our children of the highest and most beautiful moment of our history, so rich in glorious deeds and events, for such a daycannot be too of ten celebrated. And here we of Germán descent seize the rope at the right end and celébrate here in the new as formerly in the old Fatherland. John Adams, one of the founders of our Great Republic, proclaimed with regard to the right celebrations of the Fourth: "That the great anniversary festival ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other." And so also do we celébrate this day. I have now the honor for the sixth time to let my voice be heard from this place on this our most important national holiday, and, when a week ago, your president and my dear friend, requested me to speak a few words at the dedication of your flag, I thought I ought to refuse, as I considerit somewhatmonotonous to have to listen on similar occasions again and again to the same speaker; however, I succumbed to the wishes of my friends and today I ara happy to have accepted, for this is a quite notable 4th of July celebration. It is now 400 years since the great discoverer, Christopher Columbus, discovered America, and in the young giant city of the west has been erected by all nations of the civilized world a monument such as has neverbefore been erected and such as probably will never again be dedicated to mortal man with such grandeur and magnificence, containing the best and most beautiful productions of God and man, for the celebration of this important, if not the most important, event in the history of the world. And in all the cities and villages and hamlets at the first hour of this day there resounded over fields and meadows from metallic mouths, the sound of the bells in honor of the Liberty which was first proclaimed by a small common bell in Philadelphia 117 years ago, after such men as Jefferson, John Adams, Hancock, Franklin and other brave and noble men had attached their bold signatures to the Declaration of Independence. On such an occasion to let one's voice join in praise and honor as a young yet enthusiastic member of our young and wonderfully progressive fatherland is a privilege not to be despised by any one to whom the request has been made. That of which I have not hesitated on former occasions from this place to give repeated warnings - for it is the duty of every Patriot not only to study himself and his nation, but to utter the word of criticism when necessary and also to accept criticism with thanks - has unfortunately come upon us; as others, as well as myself had expected. The remarkable development of our country became too one-sided, and those who with narrow-mindedness placed their own advantage and that of their party above the common welfare, - to whom cliques, unions, combines and trusts were preferred to country must experience with those who for a long time have sought to check it the threatening e,vil of a terrible crisis which our country has thus far narrowly escaped and they will probably have to suffer for some time the consequences thereof. But why mix bitterness with the joys of festivity? Let us rejoice that we have escaped a crisis, and let us take that which has happened as a warning to do better; jfnd today, full of hope for the future, proud of what is worthy of remembrance in the past, let us rejoice and let us celébrate. Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa in the year 1433 or 1434. As neither his natal day nor the year of his birth can be accurately determined, so also it can not be ascertained where his bones found their last resting-place. Even the land which he discovered, and to whose discovery, wrapt in thought, he devoted thirty of the best years of his life, traveling from country to country to interest the potentates in his plans, going from the house of one important man to that of another to gain his influence, - this land, the land of his dreams, of his discovery, does not bear his name. However interesting on such an occasion it would be for an orator to enter into the minute descriptions of Columbus' life's history which have been disclosed by late investigations, it wouldjiot be appropriate for this occasion. However, I beg you, honored guests, to bear with me for a short time, while I refer to a few points of the history of the discovery of our country, so far as they pertain to its discoverer. Full of his plans, Columbus went from Italy to Portugal, but without accomplishing his desires. He went full of hope to Spain in 1485, in order to find his long-wished-for assistance at the court of Ferdinaid and Isabella, trying every means, stimulating every influence. Feeling himself close to the accomplishment of his aims, the one obstacle which seemed to be insurmountable alvvays came in his way. At one time he was on his way to the court of France, on foot. The year 1487 seemed at last to be the fortunebringing year, but neither this nor the next succeeding ones brought the fulfillment of his desires - to reach the Indies from the west - which his phantasy, dreaming and waking, had mapped out for him. At last, in 1492, his plans were to be realized, and through the influence of the friends who remained true to him, and particularly of one lady friend,Queen Isabella of Spain was induced to furnish the necessary means for the expedition; and on August 3rd, 1492, the three little caravels set sail for the unknown sea, hoping to land in India, sailing westward, but in reality to set foot upon a new continent. Unintentionally Columbus discovered the land which in the fulness of time was destined to give to mankind and to civilization a new direction, and in which the freedom and equality of humanity were to be crowned with undreamedof success. To the reader of the history of America and the history of Columbus, the following views must become impressive: The two potentates to whom we are indebted for the most terrible and bloody of institutions - the inquisition - gave also the means which enabled Columbus to begin the voyage which led to the discovery of that land in which all lovers of freedom should find a refuge and a home! Those who introduced the most shameful outgrowth which ever sprang from tyrannical minds to satiate their religious hatred and crush out the smallest spark of freedom, furnished all the means to help discover the land in which, later on, belief, thought and personal liberty should develope their noblest blossoms, i. e., so long as the blossoms were and are genitine. Is it not worthy of notice that after all obstacles seemed to have been surmounted and everything seemed favorable to Columbus, want of funds threatened to shatter the whole project? and in the last moment one of the Jewish race - in the urgency of the moment, however, allowing hinaself to be baptized - came to his relief and furnished the necessary money to discover that land in which money and riches in plenty were wrapt up in the mother earth and in which later on thousands upon thousands of persecuted Jews should find peace, happiness and justice, contentment and riches! Is it not also remarkable that it was especially due to the untiring efforts of a woman, the Countess Mayo, to influence her queen, that America was discovered and that now here the greatest results of the woman's suffrage legislation that have yet been attained in the civilized world have been reached? Had not Columbus' own personality many of the distinctions that are so peculiar to the people inhabiting the land he discovered? Was not the discovery due to Columbus' own self-confidence? And is not self-confidence one of the strongest powers with which those of our citizens were actuated who brought this country to what it is? Was it not partly selfish motives that made Columbus the discoverer of the New World? Was not in him the thirst for renown and for riches closely ïntermingled with the desire to find new homes for the Christian race? Do we not also find these motives closely entwined with our national life's history; although often appearing to have been laid aside, do they not always play an important part in it? Is it not also strange that in the land discovered by a southerner the northern races were destined to bring their peculiarities, their possibilities to the highest perfection ? And yet this many-sided man in whom all shades of light and shadow possible to man were peculiarly inherent and who gave up his whole life, his whole being to a plan which stood fully developed before his soul, and the well deserved lion's share of which he had properly secured to himself through negotiation, this man alone and foresaken drew his last breath of life in a small little chamber, a storm-tossed, tired wanderer! and to-day, and ever since, and God grant it, also in the future - has it been possible for the most insignificant person who sets his foot upon this God-blessed country to earn enough for himself and his loved ones to establish a pleasant home in which it is possible for him and them to enjoy the remainder of their lives as free and happy citizens. What a contrast!! However we ought not to close the day without impressing it upon our minds that we owe everthing beautiful, good and grand to our StarSpangled-Banner and to the legislation which was possible only through the declaration which 117 years ago to-day declared all men born equal and entitled to freedom and equality under the Stars and Stripes. Let me not close without reading to you the grandest, noblest and most golden words of our Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principies, and organizaing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."


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