Lest We Forget (World War Stories)

Lest We Forget (World War Stories)

by John Gilbert Thompson

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Overview

That the United States has to fulfill this special mission of defending the truth is very clear. The great American leader said again in behalf of his people:

"I suppose that from the first America has had one particular mission in the world. Other nations have grown rich, other nations have been as powerful as we are in material resources; other nations have built up empires and exercised dominion. We are not alone in any of these things, but we are peculiar in this, that from the first we have dedicated our force to the service of justice and righteousness and peace.

"The princes among us are those who forget themselves and serve mankind. America was born into the world to do mankind's service, and no man is an American in whom the desire to do mankind's service is not greater than the desire to serve himself.

"Our life is but a little plan. One generation follows another very quickly. If a man with red blood in him had his choice, knowing that he must die, he would rather die to vindicate some right, unselfish to himself, than die in his bed. We are all touched with the love of the glory which is real glory, and the only glory comes from utter self-forgetfulness and self-sacrifice. We never erect a statue to a man who has merely succeeded. We erect statues to men who have forgotten themselves and been glorified by the memory of others. This is the standard that America holds up to mankind in all sincerity and in all earnestness.

"We have gone down to Mexico to serve mankind, if we can find out the way. We do not want to fight the Mexicans; we want to serve the Mexicans if we can, because we know how we would like to be free and how we would like to be served, if there were friends standing by ready to serve us. A war of aggression is not a war in which it is a proud thing to die, but a war of service is a thing in which it is a proud thing to die."

The liberty-loving nations now fighting in the World War desire that truth and freedom shall be secured even to the Germans along with all other peoples. If the Germans had possessed these priceless virtues, probably no World War would have been necessary. But the spirit of militarism has bound down and deceived the German people.

President Wilson, at West Point, said: "Militarism does not consist in the existence of any army, not even in the existence of a very great army. Militarism is a spirit. It is a point of view. It is a system. It is a purpose. The purpose of militarism is to use armies for aggression. The spirit of militarism is the opposite of the civilian spirit, the citizen spirit. In a country where militarism prevails, the military man looks down upon the civilian, regards him as inferior, thinks of him as intended for his, the military man's support and use, and just as long as America is America that spirit and point of view is impossible with us. There is as yet in this country, so far as I can discover, no taint of the spirit of militarism."

The people of Germany have given up their sons, paid enormous taxes which kept them poor but made landowners rich, all for the sake of the military whims of their superiors.

Any American would say, like President Wilson, "I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty. But we shall not be poor if we love liberty, because the nation that loves liberty truly sets every man free to do his best and be his best, and that means the release of all the splendid energies of a great people who think for themselves."

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013143104
Publisher: Del Williams Media
Publication date: 07/27/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

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