United States Military Academy West Point - Howitzer Yearbook (West Point, NY)

 - Class of 1911

Page 13 of 306

 

United States Military Academy West Point - Howitzer Yearbook (West Point, NY) online yearbook collection, 1911 Edition, Page 13 of 306
Page 13 of 306



United States Military Academy West Point - Howitzer Yearbook (West Point, NY) online yearbook collection, 1911 Edition, Page 12
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Page 13 text:

persistence and their recognition by the political world as a force to be reckoned with and respectfully considered. It seems to me that no man who loves his kind can refuse the movement his co-operation and sympathy; no man who considers human destiny as more than a struggle for existence can fail to enlist under its banner. But approval of efforts to enlarge the sphere of arbitration and to forward the cause of peace is one thing; while assent to the claim that war can be eliminated speedily from human affairs by exhortation and co-operative national agreement, and sympathy with the reprobation of military preparation and the soldier, are quite another matter. The fallacy of the anti-militarist contention lies in mistaking the effect for the cause. War is a symptom, not a disease; the eruption, not the fever; the ulcer, not the corrupt blood; the violence of delirium, not the deranged brain tissue. The diseases of the social order bring about war. Selfishness, greed, pride, and ambition are the irritants that inflame the blood of nations to battle. It is peace that generates war. not soldiers and the military spirit. Reform human nature and war will cease to l e; and so will law and judges and sheriffs and police. As well attempt to extinguish crime by abolishing all these last as to hope to stop war by disbanding armies and preaching peace. In the meanwhile be well assured that your profession is a noble one; that the upright, educated soldier belongs to the highest type of man and citizen, and is approved by Scripture and honored in History. The greatest characters of the Old Testament were both soldiers and law-givers; and in the New, the three laymen most distinguished by Divine approval, without the slightest reprobation of their calling, were captains of Infantry in the regular Roman army. Brotherhood and solidarity are ultimate, but not yet; arbitration and peace are their issues, but not now. An expectation of universal peace based upon disarmament and an appeal to argument has no warrant in existing conditions; and an attack upon the Army, the soldier and military preparation prompted by such expectations has no foundation in logic nor warrant 7

Page 12 text:

half alive a lopsided and half-developed creature of restricted horizon and narrow prejudices. Have convictions upon all vital issues and don’t try to live on opinions merely particularly those of others. Convictions determine conduct; opinions determine compromise and expediency. A man without convictions regarding the great issues of existence is a flabby derelict on the ocean of life, useless to society and a menace to navigation. A man who has convictions, even if wrong, will always dominate him whose only motive power is opinion. What do you believe, what do you believe in. and why do you believe it? You are a part of your time and environment. You cannot escape their influences and the issues they present. Today holds a pistol at your head and demands your convictions. Out with them if you have any. Make them count for something in your lives. Every man is a center, however circumscribed, of influence and of effluence. Every act and thought, no matter how slight, irradiates waves of impulse throughout the universe, contributing their much or little to a resultant movement in the eternal evolution. If you have them not, and in the solution of your personal equation the value of your unknown quantity proves zero, you are ethically bankrupt; and Today will kick you contemptuously into the oblivion of Yesterday where you belong, fora man without convictions is the most pitiful thing on earth. This is the epoch of a great World Peace Movement which grows apace from day to day. The man of war is put on the defensive, and iscalled upon to justify his membership in the social system. War and the soldier are reprobated. and the military spirit is decried by ardent peace enthusiasts and non-resistance zealots who lay at the door of both the responsibility for most of the ills and a large share of the sins of the social organism. These well-meaning doctors of our sick times purpose curing our diseases by abolishing the symptoms. This peace movement is a hopeful sign of the evolution of society towards a higher plane of life—a harbinger of that universal brotherhood towards which all the ages have tended, and towards which Christianity points as man’s ultimate goal. But the propaganda against war and the denunciation of its evils are no new oracle. What constitutes their novelty and promise is their catholicity and organization; their 6



Page 14 text:

in Holy Scripture. Therefore. enter upon the career to which you are called, and for which you have served a hard apprenticeship, with pride in your high vocation and the devotion to it of the best that is in you; exalting in your lives the ideal of the soldier and the citizen, and striving ever for the welfare of your fellow-men. Repudiating sordid motives in your ambition, be faithful to the motto of your Alma Mater; and translate into action those finely tempered principles of clean integrity and right living which have made Her famous and her sons respected throughout the earth. Then, wherever duty calls you. unafraid you shall face the issue with tranquillity and a clear conscience, faithful to your God, your Country and yourselves— “So when the Angel of the darker Drink At last shall find you by the river-brink And, offering his Cup. invite your soul . ... Forth to your Lips to quaff you shall not shrink. 8

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United States Military Academy West Point - Howitzer Yearbook (West Point, NY) online yearbook collection, 1909 Edition, Page 1

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