National Geographic : 1917 May
LUNCHEON HOUR FOR THE NURSES IN THEI AMERICAN HOSPITAL AT PARIS No American undertaking in France since the beginning of the European war has received or deserved more enthusiastic endorsement than this great institution, which daily is mending the maimed who are rushed here from the trenches in Flanders. fundamentally for the care and comfort of soldiers, but we are not fighting this war alone for the direct efficiency of bat tle. We are fighting here for infinitely greater objectives, and there is no support that can be given to the American ideal, to the American objective of this war, better and greater than a proper organi zation of that side of our civilization which we believe is today imperiled. We are fighting against an enemy who had become dominated with a philos ophy, with an idea, for which there is no room in this world with us. It is a na tion obsessed with the single idea that survival of the strong warrants any ac tion, demands any submergence of the individual to the state, which justifies their mastery of the world. Our contention of civilization lies in the tempering of the struggle for exist ence by the care of the helpless. The survival of the strong, the development of the individual, must be tempered, or else we return two thousand years in our civilization. While the Red Cross devotes itself to the strengthening of the strong, to the support of the soldier, it is a duty of the Red Cross to illume that part of Amer ican character and American ideal which stands for the care of the helpless. I had hoped, and I think that all of your officials had hoped, that it would be possible to now congregate the strength of the whole nation into the Red Cross in order that it might undertake this, pos sibly the greatest work which we have yet to perform, and that is to bind the wounds of France!