December 9, 1914

by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

The editor commented favorably on President Wilson’s argument that the United States did not need a large standing army:

President Wilson’s message strikes the right keynote in declaring opposition to a large standing army. A military government, and that is what large standing armies always mean in the end, is incompatible with our popular institutions and ideals. Our impregnable position between two great oceans, making invasion next to impossible, calls for little in the way of “military preparedness” beyond the fortification of our principal harbors, backed up by a creditable naval establishment. If we must go to war, the citizen soldier, with ninety days training, will quickly establish his superiority over the regular of the European war machines, just as volunteers have always done at all times and in all countries. The intelligent citizen who volunteers to fight for his country because its right or honor as a nation is assailed, makes the best soldier in the world. The gold lace and decorations of the standing army are distinctly out of place in a republic like ours, and the president’s position will be generally endorsed.

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About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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