G. A. R. Public Exercises in a Hall.

Should inclement weather interfere with the foregoing exercises at the cemetery, the public is invited to join the comrades in celebrating the day in some hall.

The audience having been seated, the Post enter in uniform, with their heads covered, and stand in the portion of the hall assigned to them. On the platform sit invited guests, the orator of the day, and the Chaplain.

The Commander, standing before the comrades, or on the platform, calls the Post to order, to hear the Adjutant read such portions of instructions from departmental headquarters as may have been previously selected by the Commander.

The Commander's Speech On Decoration

When the Adjutant has finished reading, the Commander says: "Obedience is a soldier's duty. It is not, however, merely in obedience to the orders read that we assemble here. The most generous instincts of our hearts prompt us to do what the orders from headquarters command. This day commemorates a valor on sea and on land that is illustrious. This day is eloquent with a patriotism which did not speak only from the lips. This day is sacred with the almost visible presence of those who, out of prison-pens and hospitals, from camps and battlefields, have joined the innumerable company of those who muster to-day upon the parade-ground of heaven. Comrades, salute the dead!"

At this order the Commander, with each comrade, places his left hand upon his heart, and with his right hand raises his hat from his head. After remaining in this position, in silence, for a moment, the Commander drops his left hand by his side, replaces his hat on his head, and commands the Post to uncover and be seated.

Words Of Welcome

Removing his hat, after quiet is restored, the Commander says to the audience:

"Friends: As Commander of this Post, I welcome you, in the name of my comrades, to this public service. To us Decoration-Day is the memorial day of stalwart bravery, of patriotic heroism, of national faith. It is the freedom day of a race emancipated from bondage, and of a nation redeemed from iniquity. It is dear to every soldier. It deepens in our hearts a memory of our brave and our beloved, - the grand army of the immortals; and that memory makes precious to us the badge of the G. A. R., which we wear upon our breasts. May we join so reverently in these exercises that what we call a decoration-day may be to our dead their day of coronation."

Dedication Services

The following are the forms of dedicating memorial shafts, statues, tablets, etc., as established by the Grand Army of the Republic.

The city or town officials and other guests of the society, by invitation, assemble at the hall, monument, or other designated place, and are seated on the platform. At the front of the platform stands a table or desk, covered with an American flag, upon which rest two crossed swords, with their points toward the audience, and upon these an open Bible. The comrades of the dedicating Post are drawn up in front of the platform, and, if in the outer air, as near the object of dedication as possible.

After music by the band, or choir, the civil authority, usually the mayor of a city, president of the village, chairman of the town board, or some other selected officer, addresses the Commander of the Post, in substance, as follows:

"Commander - I have been authorized to invite you at this time to accept from the citizens of---------, at the hands of its accredited representatives, this memorial, and to request that it may be dedicated by you to the noble purpose for which it has been set up (or erected.)"

The Commander's Speech Of Thanks

The Commander responds, addressing the civil officer by his title: "In the name of my comrades of the Grand Army of the Republic, representing as they do all soldiers and sailors who defended the integrity and authority of the nation, I thank you and those whom you represent, for this memorial, (naming it.) Its very silence is impressive. Without articulate speech it is eloquent. It needs no words. It is itself an oration. It assures us that our dead are held in remembrance - those dead who gave their lives for the security of the citizen and the union of the States. It is significant of brave and loyal obedience to the command of the nation always and everywhere, since the obligations of citizenship are not restricted to time or place, or to the conflict of arms. It gives encouragement for the future, since the recognition and approval it gives of patriotic fidelity and heroism will be an incentive for the display of public valor and virtue in all coming time. There can be no doubt that the honor you pay to the patriot dead, and to their memorable deeds, will serve not only to make American citizenship in these days more reputable, but also to maintain and perpetuate, through all future generations, the union and authority of the United States of America."

Commander's Dedication Speech.

The Commander, giving the order, "Attention, Post !" here says.

"In the name of the Grand Army of the Republic, I now dedicate this memorial (naming it.) I dedicate it to the memory of those who in the navy (the sailor on guard salutes) guarded our inland seas and ocean coasts, and fell in defense of the flag. I dedicate it to the memory of those who in the army {the soldier on guard salutes) fought for our hillsides and valleys and plains, and fell in defense of the flag. I dedicate it to the memory of those who on land and sea fought for the Union, and fell in defense of the flag; {the guard of honor salutes and stands at salute) who on land and sea fought for the authority of the Constitution, and fell in defense of the flag; who on land and on sea fought for their country, and fell in the defense of the flag. Comrades, salute the dead!"

G. A. R. Burial Service Of Soldiers Or Sailors Belonging To The Society Of The Grand Army Of The Republic

At the request of the family or friends of a deceased soldier or sailor who has been honorably discharged from the national service, a Post may participate in the funeral ceremonies, if so disposed.

Assembling at the recent residence of the deceased, or wherever the religious services have been appointed, the Commander details the usual number of comrades to act as pall-bearers, if no others have already been selected.

The corpse is then escorted to the grave by comrades, as set forth in army regulations, the left in front, a guard of honor surrounding the remains, and the hearse preceded by the Post, in charge of the Officer of the Day.

At the grave the Post halts, forming two lines, between which the remains pass to the front, where they are placed upon a bier.