Whether stone or wood, steel or brick, bronze or cement, no monument is as anything apart from the ones whom it memorializes, for it is the lives of service and sacrifice that stand as the true and enduring shrines and not any physical casting.
Time corrodes all that is cast by human hand, but time cannot weaken or subdue honorable gestures and noble deeds expressed in the lives of men and women who set their vision above the mere horizon of their solitary lives, and devoted themselves to the wider vista of the common good.
So we pray this day, as we stand in soberness of heart, to serve as worthy witnesses and attestors to the memories of ones who have gone before. We seek to offer them their due with never diminished fervor, that recollections of their deeds remain present not just in this one spot, but in the very lifeblood of this community.
We seek in our time to be bestowed with the same tenor of commitment to, and sense of urgency about, the welfare of others, as our forebearers expressed in their lives, that the future might draw as heartily from us as we have drawn from the past.