|Confederate Memorial At Arlington National Cemetery|
120 years ago . . .
"Sectional lines no longer mar the map of the United States. Sectional feeling no longer holds back the love we bear each other. Fraternity is the national anthem, sung by a chorus of forty-five States and our Territories at home and beyond the seas. The Union is once more the common altar of our love and loyalty, our devotion and sacrifice... . The national cemeteries for those who fell in battle are proof that the dead as well as the living have our love. . . . Every soldier's grave made during our unfortunate Civil War is a tribute to American valor. And while, when those graves were made, we differed widely about the future of this government, those differences were long ago settled by the arbitrament of arms; and the time has now come, in the evolution of sentiment and feeling under the providence of God, when in the spirit of fraternity we should share with you in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers."
-"Speech before the Legislature in Joint Assembly at the State Capitol, Atlanta, Georgia, December 14, 1898," Speeches and Addresses of William McKinley, from March 1, 1897 to May 30, 1900
"With this demonstration of sectional goodwill in Atlanta, McKinley sparked a movement that would ultimately lead to legislation authorizing the federal government to locate and mark the graves of Confederates who died while in Union custody during the war."
- Michell A. Krowl, The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 111, No. 2 (2003)