Patriotic pieces from the Great War/On to Victory!
ON TO VICTORY!
Our business is to exert the largest possible fraction of our strength at the earliest possible moment, and then to exert our constantly growing strength so fast as with the utmost energy and efficiency we can develop it, until we win the peace of overwhelming victory. This war, so far as we are concerned, was brought on by German militarism and American pacifism working together. To let either or both of them dictate the peace that is to end it would be an immeasurable disaster. We should not have any negotiations with those who committed and who glory in the Lusitania infamy, the rape of Belgium, and the hideous devastation and wholesale murders and slavery in the conquered countries. We are fighting for the fundamental sanctities of life and decencies of civilization. We are fighting for the liberty of every well behaved nation, great or small, to have whatever government it desires and to live unharming others and unharmed by others. We are sending our troops to fight abroad so that they may not have to fight at home. Germany must be beaten, and the Prussianized militaristic autocracy of the Hohenzollerns humbled or the world will not be safe for liberty-loving peoples. We must fight this war through to victory no matter what the cost in time or money or in the blood of our bravest and dearest.
The ultimate task of our young men of today is so to lead the generation now coming on the stage that this nation shall assure its international safety by grasping and acting on the fundamentals of duty. I sincerely believe that on the whole we of this nation have a little finer material on which to work than is true of any other nation; that in our land there are better ideals than elsewhere of the duty of men and women to one another, to their neighbors, to their country, and to the world at large. I do not see how any man can go through the camps where our army is now being trained without feeling a thrill of pride in the manliness, energy and resourcefulness of the men who are there slowly acquiring not only the bodies of soldiers but the feelings of patriots. Those camps are to-day the great universities of American citizenship, and we ought to make them permanent features of our national life. There could be no finer material for citizenship than that afforded by the men and women of this nation.
We can be sure that our armies at the front and that our fleets and squadrons will do well and bravely, and that we shall hold our heads high because of their valor. Theirs is the great task, theirs will be the great glory. Let us who stay behind back them in every way!