The call for man power has given a new idea of the importance of the individual, so that there has been brought to the humblest the knowledge that he was not only important but his importance was realized.
And with this has come the discovery of new powers, not only in the slouch whom military drill has transformed into a man, but to labor that has found a new joy, satisfaction and efficiency in its work. The entire activities of the Nation are tuned up.
The spirit of charity has been aroused. Hundreds of millions have been provided by voluntary gifts for the Red Cross, Knights of Columbus, Hebrew Charities, and Christian Associations. The people are turning to their places of worship with a new religious fervor. Everywhere selfishness is giving way to service, idleness to industry, wastefulness to thrift.
The war is being won. It is being overwhelmingly won. A righteous purpose has not only strengthened our arms abroad but exalted the Nation at home.
The great work before us is to keep this new spirit in the right path. The opportunity for a military training, the beneficial results of its discipline, must be continued for the youth of our country. The sacrifice necessary for national defence must hereafter never be neglected. The virtues of war must be carried into peace. But this must not be done at the expense of the freedom of the individual. It must be the expression of self-government and not the despotism of a German military caste or a Russian Bolshevik state. We are in this war to preserve the institutions that have made us great. The war has revealed to us their true greatness. All argument about the efficiency of despotism and the incompetence of republics was answered at the Marne and will be hereafter answered at the Rhine. We are not going to overcome the Kaiser by becoming like him, nor aid Russia by becoming like her.
We see now that Prussian despotism was the natural ally of the Russian Bolshevik and the I.W.W. here. Both exist to pervert and enslave the people; both seek to break down the national spirit of the world for their own wicked ends. Both are doomed to failure. By taking our place in the world, America is to become more American, as by doing his duty the individual develops his own manhood. We see now that when the individual fails, whether it be from a despotism or the dead level of a socialistic state, all has failed.
A new vision has come to the Nation, a vision that must never be obscured. It is for us to heed it, to follow it. It is a revelation, but a revelation not of our weakness but of our strength, not of new principles, but of the power that lies in the application of old doctrines. May that vision never fade, may America inspired by a great purpose ever be able to say,
“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”