All nations have days sacred to the remembrance of joy and of grief. They have thanksgivings for success, fasting and prayers in the hour of humiliation and defeat, triumphs and paeans to greet the living laurel-crowned victor. They have ossuaries and eulogies for the warrior slain on the field of battle. Such is the duty we are to perform today [...]
Such an occasion as this should call forth the deepest and noblest emotions of our nature - pride, sorrow, and prayer; pride that our country has posessed such sons; sorrow that she has lost them; prayer that she may have others like them; that we and our successors may adorn her annals as they have done, and that when our parting hour arrives, whenever and however it may be, our souls may be prepared for the great change.
George B. McClellan,
June 25 1864,
Remarks given ex tempore to a crowd gathered to see him at the Fort William Henry Hotel on Lake George, New York