March 29, 1915

by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

The editorial in the Capital Journal for the 29th raised a question of the bystander’s (Samaritan?) responsibility to come to the aid of others. Though this blog post relates to events current 100 years ago, it was written as this country struggles to develop a coherent response to the ebola crisis:

Now we are told that the Serbians are suffering untold miseries as a result of the war, and the American people are asked to furnish the necessary relief funds to purge that nation of disease and poverty. But why should we do it, as long as we have an unemployment problem, and many social questions which require the attention our best minds and the resources of our more prosperous people. The war was not of our making; we stand for peace and fair play in all matters of international dispute, preferring the arbitration court of justice to that of arms. It is a great lesson to the world at large that those nations bleeding and torn by war turn in distress to the United States and beg that we may deliver them from the fruits of their own acts, but it does not follow that we should neglect our worthy works at home and lend all our energies and employ all our resources to render them assistance. Possibly if the United States, sympathetic and liberal as our people are, would turn a deaf ear to these heart-rending appeals the awful conditions which must obtain in large areas of Europe would teach a lesson that future generations would remember to the end of time, and render war a thing of abhorrence to the extent that even the ambition of monarchs would be powerless to lead their people into its shambles of wholesale slaughter.


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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