NOVEMBER 11, 1943
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Today is the 168th anniversary of the Marine Corps. The day cannot pass without a word of praise from every good American, because the Marine Corps is one of our groups of fighting men which every one of us must admire.
Down in the Southwest Pacific they say that only the Seabees land ahead of the Marines, and that must be qualified, for in many places the Seabees are nowhere around when the Marines have to go in.
Our papers this morning are proof enough that when a difficult job has to be done, the Marines are on hand. I am sure that every one of us is saying a prayer in our hearts today for the boys who are living up to the Marine tradition by clinging to our bridgehead on that faraway island of Bougainville. God bless them all, and may the future give them opportunities for carrying on their tradition in time of peace as well as they carry it on in time of war.
It seems appropriate, also, today to speak of the fact that tomorrow will be Armistice Day. For a brief moment this morning, we shall stop to say a prayer not for the dead, but for the living who are not being spared their present sacrifices because of those that were made in that hope in the last war.
May all of us pledge ourselves this year on Armistice Day to study unremittingly the causes of past failures and to keep constant watch over ourselves and our actions as citizens so that our country may avoid the pitfalls of the past. We can allow ourselves, in the future, neither the luxury of hate and prejudice, nor of soft sentimentality.
We know that those who brought about this war must be punished. We know that nations which allowed themselves to be ruled by Fascist leaders, must prove their ability to rule themselves and to act democratically before they again earn our complete trust. We know that among the Allies there must be trust and understanding and that we must not allow such prejudices as have prevented us in the past from cooperating fully with other people, to stand in the way of real understanding and real cooperation.
We know that a continuing peace means great economic adjustments, probably certain temporary sacrifices. But if we are looking for a peaceful world and more prosperity in the long run, we must study economic questions and make such adjustments as are necessary for better world cooperation.
To all those who like myself have people whom they love fighting in far distant places, this Armistice Day must bring the hope that before long there will be another one.