June 30, 1886

Toledo, Ohio


This is the Grand Army day of the Bugle Call. The object of the Bugle Call is to furnish aid to those of the soldiers who need, yet deserve far more than they need. The name Bugle Call touched the heart of every old soldier, the corner stone of the Grand Army loyalty to the constitution and fair service to the flag. In the ------- the Grand Army the humblest boy enlisted to beat a drum  stood on equality with the most distinguished officers of the war, One of the cardinal principles of the Grand Army is loyalty. Loyalty to our national government. A loyalty that perfectly understands the difference between a part and a whole. The next principle is like unto it. It is that the Union of these States is similar to the union of matrimony. That it is sacred and binding.


As good citizens, the members of the Grand Army are bound to help those who fought in the late war. The speaker regretted that there was a growing sentiment in the country in favor of keeping from the men who fought that to which they were justly entitled. The soldiers who were disabled in the war were just as much the creditors of the nation as the men who held its bonds. There are those who speak with a sneer of what they are pleased to call “back pensions”. The men entitled to pensions saved the grandest government the war has ever seen, in the divinest war ever fought on earth. Let them be paid as the creditors who hold their bonds are paid.


The Grand Army believes in the principles of the Declaration of Independence, in the sermon on the mount, in the golden rule.


Free governments in the past have failed as they substituted property rights for the individual rights of human beings. We have declared our belief in the equal rights of all men and yet we see the tendency of to-day is toward old world ideas. The speaker believed to this country of men who had been educated under foreign governments, and who failed to grasp the spirit of our institutions. The remedy for this tendency was a full and fair discussion of all public questions. Let every man have the courage of his convictions.