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United States Day
United States Day was celebrated in Paris on April 20, 1918. ...

Where Are You Going Great-heart?
Where are you going, Great-Heart, With your eager face...

When The Tide Turned

Harry Lauder Sings
Harry Lauder, an extremely popular Scotch singer and entertai...

Why The United States Entered The War
The United States was slow to enter the war, because her peop...

The Really Invincible Armada
The northern coast of Scotland is about as far north as the s...

Redeemed Italy
Italy, since 1860 at least, has cherished the dream that some...

Blocking The Channel
Bruges is an important city of Belgium made familiar to Ameri...

The Fleet That Lost Its Soul
Sailors and especially fighters on the sea have in all ages p...

To Villingen--and Back
Very remarkable in the world struggle for liberty was the eag...

When the last gun has long withheld Its thunder, and i...

November 11 1918
Sinners are said sometimes to repent and change their ways at...

I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. ...

America Comes In
We are coming from the ranch, from the city and the mine, ...

The Second Line Of Defense
In Norwich, England, stands a memorial which will forever be ...

The Call To Arms In Our Street
There's a woman sobs her heart out, With her head agains...

Fighting A Depth Bomb
All who have read of the sinking of the Lusitania, by a torpe...

U S Destroyer _osmond C Ingram_
If you were standing on the deck of a patrol boat watching fo...

A Congressional Message

At The Front
What one soldier writes, millions have experienced. At f...

A Congressional Message



GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS: The year that has elapsed since I last stood
before you to fulfill my Constitutional duty to give the Congress from
time to time information on the state of the Union has been so crowded
with great events, great processes, and great results, that I cannot
hope to give you an adequate picture of its transactions or of the
far-reaching changes which have been wrought in the life of our nation
and of the world. You have yourselves witnessed these things, as I
have. It is too soon to assess them; and we who stand in the midst of
them and are part of them are less qualified than men of another
generation will be to say what they mean or even what they have been.
But some great outstanding facts are unmistakable and constitute, in a
sense, part of the public business with which it is our duty to deal.
To state them is to set the stage for the legislative and executive
action which must grow out of them and which we have yet to shape and

A year ago we had sent 145,198 men overseas. Since then we have sent
1,950,513, an average of 162,542 each month, the number in fact rising
in May last to 245,951, in June to 278,760, in July to 307,182, and
continuing to reach similar figures in August and September--in August
289,570 and in September 257,438. No such movement of troops ever took
place before across 3000 miles of sea, followed by adequate equipment
and supplies, and carried safely through extraordinary dangers of
attack--dangers which were alike strange and infinitely difficult to
guard against. In all this movement only 758 men were lost by enemy
attacks--630 of whom were upon a single English transport which was
sunk near the Orkney Islands.

I need not tell you what lay back of this great movement of men and
material. It is not invidious to say that back of it lay a supporting
organization of the industries of the country and of all its productive
activities more complete, more thorough in method and effective in
results, more spirited and unanimous in purpose and effort than any
other great belligerent had ever been able to effect.

We profited greatly by the experience of the nations which had already
been engaged for nearly three years in the exigent and exacting
business, their every resource and every executive proficiency taxed to
the utmost. We were the pupils, but we learned quickly and acted with
a promptness and a readiness of cooeperation that justify our great
pride that we were able to serve the world with unparalleled energy and
quick accomplishment.

But it is not the physical scale and executive efficiency of
preparation, supply, equipment and dispatch that I would dwell upon,
but the mettle and quality of the officers and men we sent over and of
the sailors who kept the seas, and the spirit of the nation that stood
behind them. No soldiers or sailors ever proved themselves more
quickly ready for the test of battle or acquitted themselves with more
splendid courage and achievement when put to the test. Those of us who
played some part in directing the great processes by which the war was
pushed irresistibly forward to the final triumph may now forget all
that and delight our thoughts with the story of what our men did.

Their officers understood the grim and exacting task they had
undertaken and performed with audacity, efficiency, and unhesitating
courage that touch the story of convoy and battle with imperishable
distinction at every turn, whether the enterprise were great or
small--from their chiefs, Pershing and Sims, down to the youngest
lieutenant; and their men were worthy of them--such men as hardly need
to be commanded, and go to their terrible adventure blithely and with
the quick intelligence of those who know just what it is they would
accomplish. I am proud to be the fellow countryman of men of such
stuff and valor. Those of us who stayed at home did our duty; the war
could not have been won or the gallant men who fought it given their
opportunity to win it otherwise; but for many a long day we shall think
ourselves accurs'd we were not there, and hold our manhood cheap while
any speaks that fought, with these at St. Mihiel or Thierry. The
memory of those days of triumphant battle will go with these fortunate
men to their graves; and each will have his favorite memory. Old men
forget; yet all shall be forgot, but he'll remember with advantages
what feats he did that day!

What we all thank God for with deepest gratitude is that our men went
in force into the line of battle just at the critical moment when the
whole fate of the world seemed to hang in the balance and threw their
fresh strength into the ranks of freedom in time to turn the whole tide
and sweep of the fateful struggle--turn it once for all, so that
thenceforth it was back, back, back for their enemies, always back,
never again forward! After that it was only a scant four months before
the commanders of the Central Empires knew themselves beaten; and now
their very empires are in liquidation!

And through it all, how fine the spirit of the nation was. What unity
of purpose, what untiring zeal! What elevation of purpose ran through
all its splendid display of strength and untiring accomplishment. I
have said that those of us who stayed at home to do the work of
organization and supply will always wish that we had been with the men
whom we sustained by our labor; but we can never be ashamed. It has
been an inspiring thing to be here in the midst of fine men who had
turned aside from every private interest of their own and devoted the
whole of their trained capacity to the tasks that supplied the sinews
of the whole great undertaking! The patriotism, the unselfishness, the
thorough-going devotion and distinguished capacity that marked their
toilsome labors day after day, month after month, have made them fit
mates and comrades of the men in the trenches and on the sea. And not
the men here in Washington only. They have but directed the vast
achievement. Throughout innumerable factories, upon innumerable farms,
in the depths of coal mines and iron mines and copper mines, wherever
the stuffs of industry were to be obtained and prepared, in the
shipyards, on the railways, at the docks, on the sea, in every labor
that was needed to sustain the battlelines, men have vied with each
other to do their part and do it well. They can look any man-at-arms
in the face and say, We also strove to win and gave the best that was
in us to make our fleets and armies sure of their triumph!

And what shall we say of the women--of their instant intelligence,
quickening every task that they touched; their capacity for
organization and cooeperation, which gave their action discipline and
enacted the effectiveness of everything they attempted; their aptitude
at tasks to which they had never before set their hands; their utter
self-sacrifice alike in what they did and in what they gave? Their
contribution to the great result is beyond appraisal. They have added
a new luster to the annals of American womanhood.

The latest tribute we can pay them is to make them the equals of men in
political rights as they have proved themselves their equals in every
field of practical work they have entered, whether for themselves or
for their country. These great days of completed achievements would be
sadly marred were we to omit that act of justice. Besides the immense
practical services they have rendered, the women of the country have
been the moving spirits in the systematic economies by which our people
have voluntarily assisted to supply the suffering peoples of the world
and the armies upon every front with food and everything else that we
had that might serve the common cause. The details of such a story can
never be fully written, but we carry them at our hearts and thank God
that we can say that we are the kinsmen of such.

And now we are sure of the great triumph for which every sacrifice was
made. It has come, come in its completeness; and with the pride and
inspiration of these days of achievement quick within us we turn to the
tasks of peace again--a peace secure against the violence of
irresponsible monarchs and ambitious military coteries, and made ready
for a new order, for new foundations of justice and fair dealing.

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Previous: The United States At War--at Home

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