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"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." -- chiseled in gray granite over the entrance to the New York City Post Office on 8th Avenue, taken from Book 8, Paragraph 98, of The Persian Wars by [the Greek historian] Herodotus. During the wars between the Greeks and Persians (500-449 B.C.), the Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers who served with great fidelity. Another, less well known inscription can be found on the building that formerly was the Washington, D.C., Post Office and now is the home of the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum. It is located on Massachusetts Avenue and North Capitol Street, N.E. The inscription reads: "Messenger of Sympathy and Love, Servant of Parted Friends, Consoler of the Lonely, Bond of the Scattered Family, Enlarger of the Common Life, Carrier of News and Knowledge, Instrument of Trade and Industry, Promoter of Mutual Acquaintance, Of Peace and of Goodwill Among Men and Nations." -- The original of this inscription was called "The Letter" and was written by Dr. Charles W. Eliot, former president of Harvard University. President Woodrow Wilson changed the text slightly before the inscription was carved in the white granite of the Post Office.
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