WASHINGTON -- President Roosevelt, consecrating the Nation again to Thomas Jefferson's ideals, said today that those who fight tyranny now will come to learn his proven lesson of long ago -- "the seeming eclipse of liberty can well become the dawn of more liberty."
Speaking in person at nationally broadcast ceremonies dedicating the recently completed white marble Jefferson Memorial, the President said the Country's Third President faced the fact that men who will not fight for liberty can lose it.
"We, too, have faced the fact," he said.
Jefferson loved peace and liberty, Mr. Roosevelt added, yet on more than one occasion was forced to choose between them.
"We, too, have been compelled to make that choice," he said.
The occasion of the dedicatory ceremonies was the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth.
The President himself laid the corner stone of the new memorial on Nov. 15, 1939. With today's commemoration, it now takes its place here with shrines to two other great Americans, Lincoln and Washington.
The shining white structure is round, ringed by many pillars and topped by a low dome. It was designed after the pantheon in Rome, because Jefferson had been influenced by that building when he modeled the rotunda of the University of Virginia, which he founded.
At the foot of this shrine, Mr. Roosevelt addressed an audience of several thousand composed chiefly of Government officials and diplomats. With him on the speaker's stand where Mrs. Roosevelt, Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, Crown Princess Martha of Norway and Congressional leaders and Cabinet members.
Grace Moore, opera star, sang the National Anthem. The Right Rev. Henry St. George Tucker, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, pronounced the invocation, and the Most Rev. Peter L. Ireton, coadjutor bishop of Richmond, delivered the benediction.
"He lived in a world in which freedom of conscience and freedom of mind were battles still to be fought through -- not principles already accepted of all men," he said. "We, too, have lived in such a world ...."
In rededicating the United States to Jefferson, "apostle of freedom," the Nation is paying him a debt long overdue, the President said.
"Jefferson was no dreamer -- for half a century he led his State and his Nation in fact and in deed," he added. "I like to think that this was so because he thought in terms of the morrow as well as the day -- and this was why he was hated or feared by those who thought in terms of the day and the yesterday."
"Thomas Jefferson believed, as we believe, in man. He believed, as well believe, that men are capable of their own government, and that no king, no tyrant, no dictator can govern for them as wisely as they can govern for themselves."