The World-Wide Mourning
No sooner had the awful news been flashed about the world than
fine proof of the solidarity of humanity and the unity of the race
began to be seen. The stock exchanges of Great Britain closed as
did those of the United States. The Union Jack was half-masted throughout
the British empire. Britons, remembering our sympathy for them in
their recent sorrow over the death of Queen Victoria, reciprocated
in kind. Edward VII. ordered the court into mourning for a 
week and gave instructions that the British army should observe
the ceremonial reserved for mourning for royalty. The press of the
kingdom paid tributes to the virtues of the dead. Ambassador Choate
was overwhelmed with messages of condolence, King Edward telegraphing:
Most truly do I sympathize with
you and the whole American nation at the loss of your distinguished
and ever to be regretted President.
Churches in the most obscure places offered up prayers for the
dead and for the sorrowing living, and everything was done to demonstrate
the ties of kinship and common institutions.
In Paris festivities in honor of the
czar of Russia were at once abandoned, and the president of the
republic sent the following dispatch to Mrs. McKinley:
I learn with deep pain that his
Excellency, Mr. McKinley, has succumbed to the deplorable attempt
on his life. I sympathize with you with all my heart in the
calamity which thus strikes at your dearest affections, and
which bereaves the great American nation of a President so justly
respected and loved.
Emperor William of Germany at once
ordered the German fleet to half-mast their flags and to hoist the
Stars and Stripes at their maintops. He cabled to Secretary of State
Hay and to Mrs. McKinley, the message to the former reading:
I am deeply affected by the news
of the untimely death of President McKinley. I hasten to express
the deepest and most heartfelt sympathy of the German people
to the great American nation. Germany mourns with America for
her noble son, who lost his life while he was fulfilling his
duty to his country and people.
From Italy came messages of condolence
from King Victor Emanuel and the pope. The czar of Russia at once
dispatched a message of condolence. In South America the tragedy
caused sorrow and called forth grief, and from Japan and the far
East words of sorrow came flying under the Pacific, telling of the
shock to the Americans in Manila and to the statesmen of China and
Japan, whose admiration for the dead Executive was due to his pacific
policy and his considerate regard for Oriental habits and ideals.
Few more poignant expressions of grief have been voiced than that
of the Chinese minister to Washington.