Source: Buffalo Evening News
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “‘M’Kinley Is Shot’”
City of publication: Buffalo, New York
Date of publication: 6 September 1902
Volume number: 44
Issue number: 126
|“‘M’Kinley Is Shot.’” Buffalo Evening News 6 Sept. 1902 v44n126: p. 2.|
|McKinley assassination (anniversaries of); McKinley assassination (religious response: criticism); McKinley assassination.|
|Adam; Joan of Arc; Abraham Lincoln; James Russell Lowell; William McKinley; William I.|
“M’Kinley Is Shot”
This day marks the first anniversary of one of
the greatest public tragedies of modern times. It is just a year since a message
came down into the city from the Pan-American grounds to chill every heart and
cast a wave of sorrow that swept to the utmost verge of civilization.
“McKinley is shot,” was the brief word that still left place for hope and the prayers of humanity, vain though they were and as unavailing as the highest skill of scientific men. After the bitterness of the first grief is in some degree spent they who are endowed with a robust faith in Special Providence venture on explanations of the wisdom of the Ruler of Mankind in permitting the fatal deed to be perpetrated, and even argue that it was intended to take away the President to spare him the battle expected over domestic questions in the near future.
But nothing is less satisfactory than explanations of the inexplicable. For never was a truth set forth with more crystal clearness than when Lowell wrote:
“Not all the preaching since Adam
Has made death other than death.”
Condolence, exhortation to hope, argument and
promise may have their place, but to the mass of men is presented chiefly the
unspeakably mournful spectacle of one of the best of men stricken from the grandest
position of earthly responsibility in the height of his power to serve mankind
and his own people especially, and at the very summit of his prestige as a ruler
devoted as few men ever have been to the highest good of the nation.
Lapse of time and succession of events can never diminish the weight of the calamity that befell America in the murder of this noble man. There are names that are tragedies, Jeanne d’Arc, William of Orange, Abraham Lincoln. They will remain to the end of time to furnish some measure of the wickedness of mortal hate and show that the greatest and most glorious of the children of men are not exempt from the malignant efforts of the worst. William McKinley is added to the roll of those whose name and memory are most carefully guarded and cherished most tenderly for the grievous manner in which they were deprived of their inheritance of life.
It is fitting that there be a pause in the business of life to pay some dues of respect today, and later also, on the anniversary of the culmination of the greatest tragedy thus far known to the century.