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World Wars

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

Four Soldiers
THE BOCHE The boche was chiefly what his masters made him....

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

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

When The Tide Turned
THE AMERICAN ATTACK AT CHATEAU-THIERRY AND BELLEAU WOOD IN TH...

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

Sergeant York Of Tennessee
People will always differ as to what was the most remarkable ...

America Enters The War
SPEECH BY LLOYD GEORGE, BRITISH PREMIER, APRIL 12, 1917 ...

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

The United States At War--in France
Adapted with a few omissions and changes in language from the...

Joyce Kilmer
The first poet and author in the American army to give up his...

The Little Old Road
There's a breath of May in the breeze On the little ol...

The Yank
The boche went into the war as a robber, the poilu as a crusa...

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

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

A Carol From Flanders
1914 In Flanders on the Christmas morn The trench...

Pershing At The Tomb Of Lafayette
They knew they were fighting our war. As the months gr...

Waiting For The Flash
Not at once can the mind grasp the full significance of the w...

Alsace-lorraine
On slight pretext, Germany in 1864 and in 1866 had made wars ...

Duty
So nigh is grandeur to our dust, So near is God to man...



The Yank






The boche went into the war as a robber, the poilu as a crusader
determined to save the sacred and holy things of the world from
desecration and destruction, the Tommy as a player in a great game,
and the Yank as a policeman whose job it was to clean up the affair.

To the American soldiers, the Yanks, and to the American people, the
war was a job, a most disagreeable one, but one that must be done. No
one else was ready and able to do it; so they went at it smilingly and
jollied every one with whom they came in contact.

French children were asked to write descriptions of the Yanks for a
New York paper. They nearly all said that they were big and handsome
and quick, that they always smiled and were always hungry, especially
for chocolate and candy. The French noticed the everlasting smile of
the Yank, for after three years of war and suffering the French, even
the children, had ceased to smile. It is said the children had even
forgotten how to play, but they responded to the love in the hearts of
the Yanks, as did the German children when the American soldiers
crossed the Rhine. To the Yanks there were no enemies among the
children; they loved them, French or German.

The Yank did not smile because he failed to realize the seriousness
of his job, but because with him the harder, the more dangerous, and
the dirtier the job, the more must he smile and jolly about it.

They had come to France to do a certain piece of work. It was a
bloody, dusty, sweaty, unclean, disagreeable one, and they proposed to
finish it. . . . We are a people given to discounting futures, and the
average American soldier, to put it bluntly, discounted being killed in
action. If our Allies, whose fortitude was sustained in a dark hour by
the way that our men fought, could have probed what was in the mind of
these Americans, they would have found still further reason for faith
in our military strength. So declares Major Palmer of General
Pershing's staff.

Raymond Fosdick says the character of the American soldier was shown
when a Y.M.C.A. secretary asked a large body of Yanks to write on
little slips of paper distributed to them what they thought were the
three greatest sins in a soldier. When the papers were passed back and
examined, it was found that they agreed unanimously upon the first sin.
It was cowardice. And almost unanimously upon the second. It was
selfishness. And the third was big-headedness.

The Yank is wonderfully free from the sins he hates. Dashing,
fearless, willing to die rather than to surrender, unable, as General
Bundy said, to understand an order to retreat, he is always a
jollier. It is said one platoon of Yanks went over the top
wearing tall silk hats with grenades in one hand and carrying pink
parasols in the other. This may be only a story of what the Yanks
would have done if permitted, but it is true to their nature.

The Yanks have written the noblest chapter of American history. They
have honored their fathers and mothers, their churches, the American
public school, and the land of Washington and Lincoln. Those who sleep
beneath foreign soil have not died in vain.

*******************




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Previous: The Tommy



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