America’s Debt to Service Men

Title: America’s Debt to Service Men

Date: November 10, 1923

Location: Washington, DC

Context: Coolidge delivers an Armistice Day statement from the White House on the debt America owes to its servicemen who fought in WWI.

November 11 will be the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which ended the World War. The nations have not yet recovered from that great catastrophe, nor will they recover for some time to come. But a great deal of progress has been made in that direction. Most of the millions of soldiers have been returned to their civilian occupations and commerce and industry are tending toward their pre-war conditions. The lapse of time has mellowed the resentments which arose out of the war, and has healed many of the wounds that such a struggle was bound to make.

It is greatly to be hoped that we are on the threshold of a new era. The Washington conference, resulting in the first practical limitation of armaments among the nations of the earth, did much to promote peace and good will. In our own country, rigid economy has brought our expenses within our income, and brought about a reduction of war debts. 

Our country will remember with gratitude on that day those who served it with such distinction, and renew its resolve to continue to meet its obligations to those who suffered injury from their service. But for their action so patriotically performed, Armistice Day would have had quite another meaning for us and for the world. It will not fail, either to pay the reverence due to the memory of those who did not see the end, but died that the end might come. 

It is well, also, to recall just what this day meant. It meant the end of the war. It ought to mean the permanent return of a peace which can only be established through good will and only enjoyed in security when it rests on justice. If there is to be peace on earth, it will be because between nations there is justice on earth.

Citation: The Tampa Tribune, November 11, 1923. 

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