I have come here partly to speak at the quarter centennial of Colorado as a state, partly to meet the men of my old regiment, the 1st USV cavalry, or Roughriders, at whose head I fought in the Spanish War. They are a splendid set of men, these grim hunters and miners of the mountains, these wild riders of the plains; with many and grave faults, but essentially men; fearless, steeled to the endurance of fatigue and hardship, resolute and hardy, loyal, and for all their ferocity in fight, yet gentle to women and children. I hope that a century hence their descendants, though gaining in all humanizing ways, though gentler and more refined, will not lose the whipcord fibre, the iron strength and courage of these pioneers and sons of pioneers. We cannot in the long run afford to have our people less than men; nor yet can we afford to have them other than good men.
I have with me the Memoirs of Marbot, the Saga of Burnt Njal, and Longfellow's poems; and I am about to start with the grayhounds for a wolf hunt. May you who chance to read this enjoy life as much as I have enjoyed it; and work as hard!
Vice President USA
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