Date: November 10, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Coolidge reflects on the long-term effects of World War I.
(Original document available here)
We are celebrating the twelfth anniversary of Armistice Day. As the war recedes into the past the material loss becomes more apparent. The destruction of life, the maimed and the orphaned reaching many millions, the loss of scores of billions of property, the crushing debts and taxation and the human misery of the time which will be projected into the distant future, reveal what a crime it was to permit such a catastrophe to envelop the world. No nation profited by it.
If there was any gain it must be sought for in spiritual values. Even those appear to be diminishing. The unselfish patriotic fervor of that day has suffered a relapse. Instead of a willingness to give all for one’s country, there is too much disposition in the world to avoid meeting all the different kinds of national obligations here and abroad imposed by the war. People should realize that they cannot be avoided. In some way they will have to be discharged. The nations can only recover from the war by a continuous exhibition of the spirit of sacrifice which those terrible times produced. Unless the increased moral power then created is preserved, the war will be a total loss.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Fr. Stephen Lawson who prepared this document for digital publication.