Page images

of creed, birthplace, or residence. All the creed for us was that a man should do his duty, and show himself alert, patient and enduring, good in camp and on the march, and valiant in battle.

In administering this great country we must know no North, South, East, or West; we must pay no heed to a man's creed; we must be indifferent as to whether he is rich or poor, provided only he is indeed a good man, a good citizen, a good American. In our political and social life alike in order to succeed permanently, we must base our conduct on the Decalogue and the Golden Rule; we must put in practice those holy virtues, for the lack of which no intellectual brilliancy, no material prosperity, can ever atone. It is a good thing for a nation to be rich; but it is a better thing for a nation to be the mother of men who possess the qualities of honesty, of courage and of common


I am proud of the way in which you have taken up the broken threads of your lives, in which you have gone back to the ranch, the mine and the counting-room. In so doing you show yourselves to be typical American citizens, for it has always been the pride of our country that an American, while most earnestly desirous of peace, was ever ready to show himself a hard and dangerous fighter if need should arise, and that, on the other hand, when once the need had passed, he could prove that war had not hurt him for the work of peace, and that he was all the fitter to do this work for having done the other too. We may be called to war but once in a generation, and we most earnestly hope that we shall not have to face war again for many years. The duties of peace are always with us, and these we must perform all our lives long, from year's end to year's end, if we are to prove ourselves in very fact good citizens of the commonwealth. We must work hard for the sake of those dependent upon us; we must see that our children are brought up in a way that will make them worthy of the great inheritance which we, their fathers, have ourselves received from those that went before us. We must do our duty by the State. We must frown upon dishonesty and corruption, and war for honesty and righteousness.

Let me say a word to those to whom our thoughts should return at such a time, to those among the living and among the dead, to our absent living comrades, and especially to

our former commander, now Major-General Leonard Wood, whose administration of the Province of Santiago has reflected the utmost credit not merely upon himself, but upon the nation so fortunate as to have him in her service. We send to them the heartiest and most loyal greetings. With these men we hope in no distant future to strike hands again, and as long as we live and they live we wish to be bound together by most indissoluble ties. But when we come to speak of our dead comrades, of the men who gave their lives in the fierce rush to the jungle fight, or who wasted to death in the fever camps, we can only stand with bared heads and pray that we may so live as, at the end, to die as worthily as these, our brothers, died. Allen Capron, in the sunny prime of youth, in his courage, his strength and his beauty; "Bucky" O'Neill, than whom in all the army there breathed no more dauntless soul-of these and other gallant comrades, the men who carried the rifles in the ranks, all we can say is that they proved their truth by their endeavor, that in the hour of our greatest need these rose level to the need, and gallantly and cheerfully gave to their country the utmost that any man can give their lives, for we read in the Holy Writ "that greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend."

And these men so loved their country that they gallantly gave their lives for her honor and renown and for the uplifting of the human race. Now their work is over, their eyes are closed forever, their bodies moulder in the dust, but the spirit that was in them cannot die, and it shall live for time everlasting.

We are a great nation. We must show ourselves great, not only in the ways of peace, but in the preparedness for war which best insures peace. We must upbuild our navy and army until they correspond to the new need which the new country will bring. Above all, my comrades and my fellow-countrymen, we must build up in this country that spirit of social and civic honesty and courage which alone can make this nation reach the highest and most lasting greatness.


« PreviousContinue »