One Hundred Million Soldiers

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
One Hundred Million Soldiers
by Frank Vanderlip
Listen to this text (help | file info or download)

Fellow countrymen, to win this war, Congress pledged the resources of the United States to the last man and the last dollar. When you applauded that, you agreed that we would be a united nation, prepared to make every sacrifice necessary to win this fight. Have we the strength of character to carry out that pledge? We ought clearly to comprehend that this is a war of equipment. Our men may be as brave as any heros ever were, but they cannot successfully fight this sort of fight barehanded. They must have the equipment of guns great and small, of ammunition, of a sky full of airplanes, and of a bridge of ships across the Atlantic. The cost of that, together with the cost of what we must manufacture for our allies, will represent of money value of nearly 19 billion dollars.

We cannot fight a war without money, that we all know. But after all we cannot win a war with money. You could dress a soldier in dollar bills and he would still be cold. It is the output of the workshop that we must have. We are just now seeing that money will not build a fire in a furnace. That needs coal, and money will not secure coal where the coal cannot be transported. We are learning that appropriations, and treasury credit do not equip the army, unless there are other raw materials -- the workshop, and the manpower -- which that money can command. Sticking a label on a bottle does not fill the bottle; making an appropriation does not build a ship. There are not men enough to make for us our ordinary comforts and luxuries and at the same time build the ships and fighting equipment needed. If we will recognize that fact, we will then see why each one of us must give up some of our ordinary comforts and luxuries. If we do not, the army cannot be equipped in time.

So we must see to it that every one of our hundred million Americans enlist in that great army back of our soldiers. We must all serve. The responsibility is upon you to decide how you will serve. Whether in the army in khaki or in the larger army -- the hundred million army. You must go or forego. You must fight or sacrifice. You are the Kaiser's ally if you make men work for you manufacturing luxuries while guns are still unforged and ships unbuilt. Join the hundred million army. Then mark your service by foregoing unnecessary things and bringing, buying with the money you save bonds of the United States, big bonds if you can, baby bonds in any event. Buying war saving stamps means equipping the army, means saving the lives of American soldiers, means whipping the Huns, and redeeming the world for civilization.