Our Common Country: Mutual Good Will in America

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

TWO

WARS
A Message for Veterans

When I stop to think of the long period that has passed since our G. A. R. Veterans went to the front in 1861 it brings to me a new realization of what they did, first in service to country in preserving nationality and second in laying down arms and returning to citizenship, giving to the country the leaven of patriotism.

From my earliest recollections I have a distinct remembrance of Civil War soldiers in their activities of citizenship and their marked influence in political progress. If the millions of sons who went forth in the defense of our national rights in the World War can turn to a new birth of patriotism as you did, that will compensate us for all our part in the great world struggle. The man who goes forth to offer all on the altars of country returns a better patriot. We need a new birth of patriotism in our country.

Our veterans didn't enter the war to free the slave, although that was a becoming ideal. They didn't go to war because they hated any group in the South or to establish any new conception of justice. But they entered the conflict because they found

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