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War Dogs
The story of "The Animals Going to War" tells how, one by o...

The Queen's Flower
On July 25, 1918, nearly every person in Washington, the ca...

Defense Of LiÉge
To Germany's unfair and treacherous proposal that Belgium b...

The World War
The story of the World War is the story of the control of t...

Verdun
She is a wall of brass; You shall not pass! You sh...

Nations And The Moral Law
I believe there is no permanent greatness to a nation excep...

General Pershing
In April, 1917, a small group of men in civilian dress clim...

The Hun Target The Red Cross
All the civilized nations of the world have agreed to respe...

Birdmen
Although I am an American, I am still in the French aviatio...

Why We Fight Germany
Because of Belgium, invaded, outraged, enslaved, impoverish...

The Battles Of The Marne
At Marathon (490 B.C.) and at Salamis (480 B.C.) the Greeks...

And The Cock Crew
"I hate them all!" said old Gaspard, And in his we...

Killing The Soul
As the centuries pass, the greatest glory of any nation, it...

They Shall Not Pass
The caves described in the Arabian Nights are not more wond...

Alan Seeger
As England and the world lost Rupert Brooke, so America and...

A Ballad Of French Rivers
Of streams that men take honor in The Frenchman ...

The Belgian Prince
The Belgian Prince was a British cargo steamer. On a voyage...

The Charge Of The Black Watch And The Scots Greys
Sometimes a retreat is in reality a great victory. It has b...

The God In Man
A soldier on the firing step, aiming at the enemy, is sudde...

A Place In The Sun
The history of Rome about 1500 years ago tells us of "the w...



A Belgian Lawyer's Appeal






One of the great lawyers of Belgium in behalf of the members of the bar
of Brussels, Liége, Ghent, Charleroi, Mons, Louvain, and Antwerp,
appeared twice before the German Court of Justice at Brussels and
appealed for more just treatment of the Belgian people. In his first
appeal, he protested against the illegal manner in which the Belgians
were accused of crime, tried, and convicted at the pleasure of German
officials. He concluded with the following eloquent words:

I can understand martial law for armies in the field. It is the
immediate reply to an aggression against the troops, the quick
justice of the commander of the army responsible for his
soldiers. But our armies are far away; we are no longer in the
zone of military operations. Nothing here threatens your troops,
the inhabitants are calm.

The people have taken up work again. You have bidden them do it.
Each one attends to his business--magistrates, judges, officials
of the provinces and cities, the clergy, all are at their posts,
united in one outburst of national interest and brotherhood.

However, this does not mean that they have forgotten. The
Belgian people lived happily in their corner of the earth,
confident in their dream of independence. They saw this dream
dispelled; they saw their country ruined and devastated; its
ancient hospitable soil has been sown with thousands of tombs
where our own sleep; the war has made tears flow which no hand
can dry. No, the murdered soul of Belgium will never forget.

His second appeal will be spoken by school children in Belgium, and
perhaps in America, when the names of the German judges to whom he
spoke are forgotten even in Germany.

We are not annexed. We are not conquered. We are not even
vanquished. Our army is fighting. Our colors float alongside
those of France, England, and Russia. The country subsists. She
is simply unfortunate. More than ever, then, we now owe
ourselves to her, body and soul. To defend her rights is also to
fight for her.

We are living hours now as tragic as any country has ever known.
All is destruction and ruin around us. Everywhere we see
mourning. Our army has lost half of its effective forces. Its
percentage in dead and wounded will never be reached by any of
the belligerents. There remains to us only a corner of ground
over there by the sea. The waters of the Yser flow through an
immense plain peopled by the dead. It is called the Belgian
Cemetery. There sleep our children by the thousands. There they
are sleeping their last sleep. The struggle goes on bitterly and
without mercy.

Your sons, Mr. President, are at the front; mine as well. For
months we have been living in anxiety regarding the morrow.

Why these sacrifices, why this sorrow? Belgium could have
avoided these disasters, saved her existence, her treasures, and
the lives of her children, but she preferred her honor.





Next: Edith Cavell

Previous: And The Cock Crew



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