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PRESIDENT WILSON'S ADDRESS.

"Friends and Fellow-Citizens

"I need not tell you what the Battle tof Gettysburg meant. These gallant men in blue and grey,sit all about us here. Many of them met here upon this ground in grim and deadly struggle. Upoil these famous fields and hillsides their comrades died about them. In their presence it were an impertinence to discourse upon how the battle went, how it ended, what it signified ! But 50 years have gone by since then, and I crave the'privilege of speaking toyou for a lew minutes of what those 50 years have meant.

"What have they meant? They have meant peace and union and vigour, and the maturity and might of a great nation. How wholesome and healing the peace has been ! We have found one another again as brothers and comrades in arms, enemies no longer, generous friends rather, our battles long past, the quarrel forgotten—-ex-cept that we shall not forget the splendid \nlour, the manly devotion of the men then arrayed against one another, now grasping hands and smiling iiito each other's eves. . . We are debtors to those 50 crowded years ; they have made us heirs to a mighty heritage. The Uncompleted Nation.

"But do we- deem the nation complete and finished ? These venerable men crowding here to this famous field haye set us a great example of devotion and utter sacrifice. ' They were willing to die that the people might live. • But their task is done. Their day is turned into evening. They look to us to perfect what they established. Their work is handed on to us, to be 'done in another way, but not Tn another spirit. Our day is not over; ,it is in full tide.

."Have affairs paused? Does the nation shall, still? Is what the 50 years have wrought since those days of battle finished, rounded out, and completed ? "Here is a groat people, great with every force that has ever beaten in the life-blood of mankind. And it is secure. There is no one within its borders, there is no power 'among the nations of the earth, to make, it afraid. Hut has it yet squared itself- with its own great standards set up at its birth, when it made that'first noble, naive appeal to the moral judgment of mankind to take notice that a Government had now. at last been established which was to serve men, not mastei\s ? It is secure in everything except the .satisfaction that its life is right,' adjusted to the uttermost, t;o the standards of righteousness aijtd humanity.

The Harder Task at Hand. "The days of sacrifice and cleansing are not closed. We have harder things'

to do than were done in the heroic days of war, because harder to see clearly, requiring more vision, more calm balance of judgment, a more candid searching of the very springs of right.

"Look around you upon the field of Gettysburg ! Picture the ■' array, the fierce heat and agony of battle, column hurled against column, battery bellowing to battery ! Valour ? Yes ! Greater no man shall see in war; and self-sacrifice, and loss to the uttermost; the high recklessness of exalted devotion which does not count the cost.

"We are made by these tragic, epic things to know what it costs to make a nation— the blood and sacrifice of multitudes of unknown men lifted to a great stature in view of all generations by knowing no limit to their manly willingness to serve. In armies thus marshalled from the ft ranks of freemen you will see, as it were, a nation embattled,, the leaders and the led, and may know, if you will, how little except in "form its action differs in days of peace from its action in! days of war." .

Ths New American Host,

" I have been chosen the leader of the nation. 1 cannoL justify the choice ,by tiny qualities of my own, but so it has come about, and here I stand. Whom do I command ? The ghostly hosts who fought upon these battlefields of long ago and are gone? These gallant gentlemen stricken in years whose fighting days are over, their /glory won? What are the orders for thorn, and who rallies them ? ■ i "I have in my mind another host, I whom these yet free of civil strife in ' order that they might work out in days I of peace and "settled order the life of ' a great nation. The host is the people I-themselves, the groat and the small, ! without class or diffronce of kind or I race or origin.' . •'. ''What we strive for is their freeI dom, their right to lift themselves from j'day to day and behold the things they have hoped for', and so make way for ! still better days if or those whom they hove who are to come after them. The recruits are the little children crowding in. The quartermaster's stores are in the mines arid forests and fields, in the shops and factories, Every ' day something must be- done to push the campaign forward,' and it must be done by plan and with an eye to some great' destiny. . . .•■■■■ The Present in the Light of the Past.

"Here is the nation God has builded by our hands. What shall we do with it?' Who stands ready to act again and always in the spirit of this day of reunion and hope: and patriotic fervour P The day of our country's life has but broadened into morning. Do 1 not pat uniforms by. Put the harness of the presentoorn r Lift your eyes to s the great tracts of life yet to be conquered in the interest of righteous oeace, of' that prosperity , which lives , in a people's hearts and outlasts all 'wars and errors of men. Come, let us be comrades and soldiers yet to serve our fellow-men in quiet counsel, where the blare of trumpets is neither heard nor heeded, and' where the .things are clone which make blessed the. nations of the world in peace and righteousness and. love." „ ,

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19140207.2.53.2

Bibliographic details

PRESIDENT WILSON'S ADDRESS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8788, 7 February 1914

Word Count
1,010

PRESIDENT WILSON'S ADDRESS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8788, 7 February 1914

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