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march, no fear in the heart, no resistance to the patriotic impulse at home, no successful resistance to the patriotic spirit of the troops fighting in distant waters or on a foreign shore.
"What a wonderful experience it has been from the standpoint of patriotism and achievement. The storm broke so suddenly that it was here almost before we realized it. Our navy was too small, though forceful, with its modern equipment, and most fortunate in its trained officers and sailors. Our army had years ago been reduced to a peace footing. We had only 19,000 available troops when the war was declared, but the account which officers and men gave of themselves on the battlefields has never been surpassed. The manhood was there and everywhere. American patriotism was there, and its resources were limitless.
"The courageous and invincible spirit of the people proved glorious, and those who a little more than a third of a century ago were divided and at war with each other were again united under the holy standard of liberty. Patriotism banished party feeling. Fifty millions of dollars for the national defense was appropriated without debate or division as a matter of course and as only a mere indication of our mighty reserve power.
“But if this is true of the beginning of the war, what shall we say of it now, with hostilities suspended and peace near at hand, as we fervently hope? Matchless in its results! Unequaled in its completeness and the quick succession with which victory followed victory! Attained earlier than it was believed to be possible. So comprehensive in its sweep that every thoughtful man feels the weight of responsibility which has been so suddenly thrust upon us! And, above all and beyond all, the valor of the American army and the bravery of the American navy and the majesty of the American name stand forth in unsullied glory, while the humanity of our purpose and the magnaminity of our conduct have given to war, always horrible, touches of noble generosity, Christian sympathy and charity, and examples of human grandeur which can never be lost to mankind.
"Passion and bitterness formed no part of our impelling motive, and it is gratifying to feel that humanity triumphed at every step of the war's progress.
"The heroes of Manila and Santiago and Porto Rico have made immortal history. They are worthy successors and descendants of Washington and Greene, of Paul Jones, Decatur and Hull, and of Grant, Sherman, Sheridan and Logan; of Farragut, Porter and Cushing, and of Lee, Jackson and Longstreet.
“New names stand out on the honor roll of the nation's great men, and with them unnamed stand the heroes of the trenches and the forecastle, invincible in battle and uncomplaining in death. The intelligent,
loyal, indomitable soldier and sailor and marine, regular and volunteer, are entitled to equal praise as having done their whole duty, whether at home or under the baptism of foreign fire.
“Who will dim the splendor of their achievements? Who will withhold from them their well-earned distinction? Who will intrude detraction at this time to belittle the manly spirit of the American youth and impair the usefulness of the American navy? Who will embarrass the government by sowing seeds of dissatisfaction among the brave men who stand ready to serve and die, if need be, for their country? Who will darken the counsels of the republic in this hour requiring the united wisdom of all? Shall we deny to ourselves what the rest of the world so freely and so justly accords to us? The man who endured in the short but decisive struggle its hardships, its privations, whether in the field or camp, on ship or in the siege, and planned and achieved its victories, will never tolerate impeachment, either direct or indirect, of those who won a peace whose great gain to civilization is yet unknown and unwritten.
"The faith of a Christian nation recognizes the hand of Almighty God in the ordeal through which we have passed. Divine favor seemed manifest everywhere. In fighting for humanity's sake we have been signally blessed. We did not seek war. To avoid it, if this could be done in justice and honor to the rights of our neighbors and ourselves, was our constant prayer. The war was no more invited by us than were the questions which are laid at our door by its results. Now, as then, we will do our duty.
“The problems will not be solved in a day. Patience will be required-patience combined with sincerity of purpose and unshaken resolution to do right, seeking only the highest good of the nation, and recognizing no other obligation, pursuing no other path but that of duty.
“Right action follows right purpose. We may not at all times be able to divine the future, the way may not always seem clear, but if our aims are high and unselfish somehow and in some way the right end will be reached. The genius of the nation, its freedom, its wisdom, its humanity, its courage, its justice, favored by divine providence, will make it equal to every task and the master of every emergency.”
To the heroes who went to the front, and to those who could not go, and to their wives and mathers and sweethearts, f dedicate this book.