Problems of the Presidency
LOOKING OVER the private papers of the President I came across a handwritten memorandum of eight pages on White House stationery. I almost missed the significance of it. It started with the sentence " Sept. 26, 1918, a few minutes before 4 A.M. a service man of my acquaintance. . ." I was eager to get into documents of more recent date and having more immediate and personal impact. However, I read on:
"Sept. 26, 1918, a few minutes before 4 A.M. a service man of my acquaintance was standing behind a battery of French 75's at a little town called Neuville to the right of the Argonne Forest. A barrage was to be fired by all the guns on the Allied front from Belgium to the Swiss border.
"At 4 A.M. that barrage started, at 5 A.M. the infantry in front of my acquaintance's battery went over. At 8 A.M. the artillery including the 75 battery moved forward. That forward movement did not stop until Nov. 11, 1918.
"My acquaintance came home, was banqueted and treated as returned soldiers are usually treated by the home people immediately after the tension of war is relieved.
"The home people forgot the war. Two years later, they turned out the administration which had successfully conducted our part of the war and turned the clock back.
"They began to talk of disarmament. They did disarm themselves to the point of helplessness. They became fat and rich, special privilege ran the country -- ran it to a fall. In 1932 a great leader came forward and rescued the country from chaos and restored the confidence of the people in their government and their institutions.
"Then another European war came along. We tried as before to keep out of it. We refused to believe that we could get into it. The great leader warned the country of the possibility. He was vilified, smeared, misrepresented but kept his courage. As was inevitable