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COMMUNICATION FROM Past COMMANDER IN CHIEF W. D. ENGLISH
INDIANAPOLIS, IND., September 27, 1925. CHAUNCEY W. HERRICK :
The first elected commander in chief of the United Spanish War Veterans chosen at the first national encampment held in St. Louis sends his best wishes to the presiding officer of the present encampment, together with his most affectionate greeting to all the assembled comrades.
W. E. ENGLIBH.
COMMUNICATION FROM ARIZONA DEPARTMENT COMMANDER, WILLIAM C.
DOUGLAS, ARIZ., September 26, 1925. CHAUNCEY W. HERRICK :
Fraternal greetings and best wishes for a successful encampment from the comrades of the Department of Arizona. May your deliberations result in much good, especially to our disabled comrades and the dependents of those who have answered to the final roll call. Unable to attend, but will endeavor to carry out any program that is adopted.
WILLIAM C. HATHAWAY,
MANILA, September 30, 1925. CHAUNCEY W. HERRICK, Commander in Chief, United Spanish War Veterans,
Washington, D. C. Sincere greetings to all. My best wishes for your organization, and may God bless your work and grant your noble country peace and prosperity and enlightment in her relations with the Philippines and benevolence toward the aspirations of her people.
Commander in Chief HERRICK. Comrades, some time ago I extended an invitation to the national commander of the American Legion to be with us. He hoped for some time he would be able to come but, as you know, the Legion's convention starts a week from to-day at Omaha and he was unable to make the trip. I was very pleased, however, to have him tell me he would send a representative and I was more than pleased when he told me the representative he would send from the American Legion would be Past Commander in Chief Oscar E. Carlstrom [applause] of the United Spanish War Veterans. Comrades, it is my pleasure and privilege at this time to present to you Comrade Carlstrom, who brings the greetings of the American Legion to you. [Prolonged applause.]
ADDRESS OF PAST COMMANDER IN CHIEF CARLSTROM, REPRESENTING THE NATIONAL COMMANDER OF THE AMERICAN LEGION
Past Commander in Chief CARLSTROM. Comrade commander in chief, comrades of the Spanish-American War Veterans, friends. I realize we have listened to a great deal of oratory this morning and it is hotter than hell in here and you don't want me to detain you too long, and I shall bear that in mind.
I am always proud and happy to come back to the national conventions of the veterans in any capacity. I would have been here
without the assignment which I deem to be an honor, coming from the national commander of the American Legion. I am certainly glad to be here and to be permitted to speak to my coinrades of the more recent World War, and I call your attention at the outset to the fact, if my information is correct, that there are over 62,000 veterans of the Spanish-American War who are eligible to membership in the American Legion [applause], because after the passing of nearly a quarter of a century they again responded to the call of the country and were seen in the ranks over yonder. [Applause.]
I was privileged to be in Paris in 1919 when the first meetings were held by officers and men of the American Expeditionary Forces and out of which grew the organization known as the American Legion. I served on the committee of organization. We adopted at that first meeting the preamble to the constitution of the American Legion and its first words are a challenge to the sound integrity, the loyal patriotism, and service of every American when they say: “ For God and country we associate ourselves together Under the broad banner of that sentiment, every man who served his country in whatever time he served can gather with uniform purpose to uphold the glory of American citizenship. In that spirit I come to you, honored, to speak the sentiments which National Commander General Graham expressed to me at the State convention of the Legion in Illinois, and that was this, that the great strength of the American Legion reaches its hands in the spirit of comradeship, .citizenship, and fellowship to the Spanish-American War comrades; its strength to help us in our cause, and bespeaks and prays for the support and strength of the Spanish-American War veterans.
We have come to understand, my comrades, that whatever period we served in, there is but one measure of service, and that is the loyalty of the heart, and men and women actuated by that sort of sentiment are the safeguards of the history and traditions of America and we can not differ because time may have separated our service.
I come to you bearing a message, pleading that we may stand together, five million together, with all the additions of the great army that was represented by the Spanish-American War and the remnants of the other service of the United States and with that force, five million men supported by the love and sympathy and loyalty of the women of our groups, we may become a power that shall save for America the great possibilities of our future destiny: Oh, comrades, I can not apologize to you for telling you what is in my heart
I to-day because wherever I speak it is my faith and belief: I care not what America achieves in material wealth; her service to humanity which we love is what counts and her banner only can rise on the higher and finer sentiments, on the service which is typified by the organizations of the veterans of her wars. That being true, we can do but one thing in the American Legion.
Those are the things the national commander of the American Legion asked me to say to you to-day and I know that you will ask your representative in Omaha to say the same to them. [Applause.]
I hope to be in Omaha. I hope to'be there and I hope to hear your representative there say: “Let's pull together and fight for the rights these men and women are entitled to "those rights that have been expressed here to-day. I would say that that means a compen
sation which enables a man, even though robbed of his physical power, to provide for himself a compensation which will enable him to raise his head unashamed and bring opportunities to his family for growth and development in American citizenship-a rea:sonable and adequate compensation. [Applause.]
While I have been honored by this body by having received from it the highest honor that can come to me in being commander in chief, I want to say that that is the highest honor that can come to me, but I do not propose to suspend my efforts, but so long as I have the strength and capacity to go I am at your command and will fight your battles whoever your commander may be succeeding Comrade Herrich and his splendid record, for I believe I give to men the grasp by the hand, your hand, and you are not giving it with an ulterior motive but you give of the richest and sweetest heritage man can have.
After we have fought these battles which we believe to be just and right on behalf of our organization, let us remember that we have another great duty civic in its nature. Men, the laws of this Nation are made under our structure of government by Representatives in Congress and the legislatures; they are executed by governors; interpreted by those men placed in those places of responsibility by the people. Lawmaking, law execution, and law inter
. pretation is done by by men chosen by the people, and I believe that the great forces of the veterans' organizations, acting in unison, can so control the selection of men for these places—I am not talking politics but Americanism and the future of America when I say that—they can control the election and selection of these men in such fashion that the liberty of our people, the justice and integrity of American citizenship, will be protected. [Prolonged applause.] And that is as big a job as we tried to do after our country called us at the rattling sound of the drum. It is the response of the veterans to that call and in that effort that I want to battle as long as God lets me live. I could talk all day long.
VOICES IN THE AUDIENCE. Go on, go on
Past Commander in Chief CARLSTROM (continuing). I have said enough, friends. I wanted to leave that thought with you. As I lod over the field with the great body of men associated together in these organizations, I ask: What can they not do when they realize their power of strength and exert it in the interest of a higher and better government, in the interest of unselfish service to our people.
It is a happy thing for me to come down here to these people of the South, and I would be remiss if I did not mention it, with the sunshine they boast of here; certainly it is brilliant and they have a temperature that is noticeable, but we know it typifies the warmth of the heart and the people of these States, and what a wonderful thing it is to think of, we to-day marching forward in the spirit of a comradeship, a fellowship, touched and inspired by comradeship, as one great people, with one great motive, that of service, what a wonderful thing it is that we can come down here and accept their hospitality and ask them in the same spirit of hospitality to come and see us in our different States.
May I close with the expression of a sentiment first expressed by a great minister from New York, speaking at a flag-raising in 1868,