"THIS is the way to India!" Speaking on behalf of UP Vice President, Dr. Thomas Durant, who was temporarily indisposed, UP Chief Engineer, General Grenville Dodge commends the people who built the Pacific Railroad and proclaims the establishment of a new major link not only in American transportation, but in international commerce as well:
"Gentlemen, Senator Benton proposed that some day a giant statue of Columbus should be built on the highest peak of the Rocky Mountains, pointing westward to the great route across the continent. You have made this a fact! THIS IS THE WAY TO INDIA!"
To his right, UP Telegrapher W. N. Shilling sits at his table and taps out bulletins to the nation, as the ceremony proceeds. Moments later, the last iron spike and the spike maul used to drive it would be wired to Shilling's telegraph, so an anxious nation could actually "hear" the blows. In effect, it was one of the first major news events ever covered "live." When the last blow was struck, Mr. Shilling then tapped out 4 letters in Morse: D-O-N-E. Abraham Lincoln's dream of re-uniting his shattered nation literally and in spirit, had been fulfilled.