Source: West Virginia School Journal
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Our Fallen Leader”
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 22
Issue number: 7
|“Our Fallen Leader.” West Virginia School Journal Oct. 1901 v22n7: p. 30.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); McKinley assassination (public response); William McKinley.|
Our Fallen Leader
The circumstances surrounding the fall of our
third martyred President were such as to command the sympathy of the civilized
world, so generously expressed. Had the assassin had a heart that could be touched
with pity the thought of his victim’s invalid wife would have stayed his murderous
hand. To any reasonable being his gentle life would have sufficed to protect
him against violence. He was a friend among friends, freely exchanging the greetings
of a good and great people. With full trust in the people, he extended a hand
of cordial greeting, only to receive the deadly assault of a treacherous monster.
Men could not believe it possible for such villainy and depravity to exist among
a Christian and happy people. They were at first so shocked as not to believe
their senses. When the real nature of the deed began to reveal itself they recoiled
at the thought of a crime so monstrous, then raged with indignation at the foul
deed, whose treachery and guilt are equaled only by the foul act of Judas Iscariot.
A great leader has fallen. He was great in life and proved himself great in death. His last public words were those of peace and good-will among the nations. His last words to his private friends were those of faith and Christian submission. His private life and his public career stand out as pure examples of American manhood and high statesmanship. The historian, in writing his story, need conceal from the world no stain of character nor breach of public trust. The wisdom of his national policies is not yet clearly revealed, but there is little fear that the future will not prove him the equal of any statesman of his times. He was good as well as great, and his life will stand a monument to American citizenship and an example and inspiration to generations yet unborn.