National Geographic : 1917 May
OUR ARMIES OF MERCY BY HENRY P. DAVISON CHAIRMAN OF THE WAR COUNCIL OF THE AMERICAN RED CROSS Probably every member of the National Geographic Society, if not already in service, has at least one near relative or dear friend preparing cheerfully and unselfishly for the battle lines on sea and land. Those who, cannot go are search ing for means to help their loved ones and our beloved country. In order to assist, in their patriotic ambition to be of service, those who must stay at home, the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MIAGAZINE, by courtesy of the American Red Cross, pub lishes herewith the principaladdresses at one of the most awakening meetings that has ever assembled in America-that of the American Red Cross War Council, held in Washington on May 24 and 25. The meeting had been called by the President of the United States to plan means for raising immediately an immense Red Cross war fund. Every one who reads the addresses by General Pershing, Henry P. Davison, Ian Malcolm, John H. Gade, Herbert C. Hoover, Frederick Walcott, Secretary Baker, Eliot Wads worth, and ex-President Taft will appreciate the imperative necessities of our Department of Mercy. The members of the National Geographic Society are urged to cooperate with the Red Cross through their local Red Cross chapters, but, for the convenience of the many thousands of members living in remote places, where there is no Red Cross chapter, remittances may be made to the Red Cross fund through the Na tional Geographic Society, using the blank form printed on another page. GILBERT H. GROSVENOR, Director and Editor. T HE most stupendous and appeal ing call in the history of the world to aid suffering humanity con fronts our Red Cross. Millions of men who have been fighting for liberty lie dead or wounded; millions of women and children are homeless and helpless; hun dreds of towns and villages have been destroyed; disease and distress are ram pant. Up to now our own people have not suffered. While Europe has been pour ing out her life-blood, America has ex perienced a prosperity she had never known before. But now we ourselves are in this gigan tic war. We now see that the struggle against autocracy and tyranny which our Allies have been making is and from the first has been in reality no less our strug gle than theirs. We ourselves must now share the suffering which they have en dured; we, too, must bear the burdens and we must do our part in a very real way. NEEDS BEYOND COMPUTATION Our Red Cross is a vital factor in the struggle. To promote efficiency in ad- ministering its great responsibilities, the President of the United States has cre ated a Red Cross War Council. We of the Council know now only what the minimum requirements are; but we know already that the needs which our Red Cross alone can supply are at present be yond computation. Something of what we must expect to do and something of the sacrifices which we must expect to make will be indicated by the following summary of the very present situation: Hundreds of American doctors and nurses are already at the front. A force of 12,000 American engineers will soon be rebuilding the railroads of France. Upwards of 25,000 American men are now on the battlefields of Europe, fight ing as volunteers in the Allied armies; soon 25,000 American regulars will be added to their number. All our National Guard is to be mobil ized, our regular army is to be recruited to full strength, and 500,000 other men are shortly to be called to the colors. Within a few months we should and will have in service an army of I,ooo,ooo and a navy of 150,000 men.