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Address to be delivered at Versailles, October 6, 1937, at the dedication of the monument erected to General Pershing by the Republic of France

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Address to be delivered at Versailles, Oct 6 1937, at the dedication of the monument erected to General Pershing by the Republic of France by Harry W Colmery

 

Today marks a great and historic impact in the history of France and the United States.  This place, this time, and this occasion blend in harmony with the character and purpose of two great men, the significance of whose lives casts its shadows impartially in the past and into the future of both the French and American Republics.

 

Here at Versailles the prayers of a war torn and weary world we answered in the Treaty of Peace which marked the close of the great World War, and the preservation of democratic civilization.  Here, at this time, forces which challenge the rights of people to preserve a dependable popular government dictates the necessity of a common understanding and cooperative past on the rest of all who thru which the hopes and aspirations, the [XXXXX], convictions and the consciences of Her people may be translated into public performance.  Here, on this occasion, we held up for the emulation of two peace loving democratic peoples, two symbols thru whom there has been connecting the ties of friendship which build the United States and France – General Lafayette and General Pershing.

 

So it is with great pride and a deep sense of gratitude that I express the appreciation of the American men who served in the World War, for the generosity and sentiment of the French Government, and the French people which is her  [XXX  XXXXX]  for the distinguishing American whom you have seen fit to honor; and that I join

 

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with you in honoring General Pershing, whose character and service stirs the winds and fires the ambitions of all who love home and family and desire freedom and justice.

 

This is a proud moment for every American soldier, sailor and marine who fought in the World War.  For when you honor General Pershing you honor the men he led to battle.  And America is thrilled today by these ceremonies, thru which you demonstrate your affection for the American Expeditionary Forces who came to you in the hour of need twenty years ago.

 

We have not forgotten how Lafayette, a lad of 19, volunteered in the service of America’s struggling Continental Army:  fought at Burgoyne, Monmouth and other engagements and risking his all in the cause of America Liberty.  His name dotting the American landscape in town, city and County; preserves Lafayette to our future American posterity, as a distinguishing soldier, patriot, and friend of America.  In like manner, when the situation was desperate, and the fate of France and democracy hung in the balance, General Pershing came to France.  With him, ever right as it vital, came his [XXXXXX]  hope of humanity.  With an unusual training organization and administrative sense, a courage to withstand any test, a determination and a will to do what was right, Tempering by tact and good judgment, he it was, who, amid strife and danger, charting a way  [XXXXX]  on his confidence in the courage and spirit of America and a cooperative attitude toward the other allied armies, with one passion and one purpose,

 

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to save France, and preserve that freedom and liberty which characterizes democratic civilization.

 

General Pershing, the four and one half million men, who, when they donned the uniform of the United States in the World War, surrendered every right that is dear to an American son only the right to die for America am proud of you.  When you unify the America forces into an American Army under American Leadership, under our Stars and Stripes, you gave to the United States a split and a self-confidence which was needed by both our Country and the Allies.  When you marshaled that spirit in attack as contrasting with defense, at St. Mihiel, Montfaucon, and in the Meuse-Argonne, stopped the war and brought peace.  Then recognizing the serious situation, you  [XXXXX]  forces your purpose, and place the American Troops under the Allied Command of General Froh, you [XXXXXX]  that desire for personal glory was not in you.  When you refused to the standards from your duty by false accusations, your faith in you purpose and courage in your conviction, brought to you the respect and admiration due you as a man.  It was [XXXXX]  for you sir, to rise from humble circumstances and to be raised to supreme command at a supreme moment and entrusting with the destinations of our American Nation.

 

With humble pride, your men, glad to follow you then, have confidence in you now.  Great as you were in War, with becoming modesty, breath of vision, human understanding, and courageous devotion the right in the public service, you are now even greater as a peace time citizen.  With a  [XXXX] which is all our own, we are happy that the French people and their government has rewarded us this permanent memorial their love and affection for you.  May not only

 

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these two monuments to you and General Lafayette, but also the mutual respect, and sympathetic understanding between this fine gentleman, General Patanil and Gen [XXXX] of the Czar and admiring by all who know, epitomize the love and friendship between France and the United States, and be an inspiration to those who pass by, that the fires of liberty shall burn brightly, and provide a medium thru which promise peace on earth and good will among men.

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