Our Common Country: Mutual Good Will in America

By Warren G. Harding; Warren G. Harding III | Go to book overview

IX

THE IMMIGRANT
A Message for Citizens of Foreign Birth

You who are men and women of foreign birth, I do not address as men and women of foreign birth; I address you as Americans, and through you I would like to reach all the American people. I have no message for you which is not addressed to all the American people, and, indeed, I would consider it a breach of courtesy to you and a breach of my duty to address myself to any group or special interest or to any class or race or creed. We are all Americans, and all true Americans will say, as I say, “America First!”

Let us all pray that America shall never become divided into classes and shall never feel the menace of hyphenated citizenship! Our uppermost thought to-day comes of the awakening which the World War gave us. We had developed the great American Republic; we had become rich and powerful, but we had neglected the American soul. When the war clouds darkened Europe and the storm threatened our own country, we found America torn with conflicting sympathies and prejudices. They were not unnatural; indeed they were, in many cases, very excusable, because we had not promoted the American spirit; we had not insisted upon full and unalterable consecration to

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