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(title page) The Red Cross and the War
Judge Robert W. Winston
[Raleigh, N. C.]
Call number Cp970.9 W78 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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[Title Page Image]
WHEN little Paul Dombey lay dying, he turned his big, wistful eyes toward Mr. Dombey and asked, "What is money, papa?"
"Why, money, money," gasped the startled Dombey, "money can do anything, Paul!"
How mistaken he was! And how mistaken are all people who think that money can do everything in this war. Money can purchase guns and shot and shell. It can supply food and clothing. But money cannot minister to the wounded. It cannot
For these reasons the Red Cross Society of America is a personal and voluntary organization. Born, on the bloody fields of Solferino, to mitigate the horrors of war, it makes a direct appeal for support
to the hearts and conscience of our people. It receives no assistance from the United States Government. To work with it and for it is both an honor and a stimulant. Its president is Woodrow Wilson. The War Department audits its accounts, and it has twenty-two million members. It has no salaried officers, and every dollar which is given to it counts, for there is neither extravagance nor wastage. Up to this date it has received nearly a hundred million of dollars and it has accounted for every penny of the same. It is now proposed that we raise one hundred million more, and the amount assigned to Raleigh and to Wake County, of which your school is a chapter, is $35,000.
When the Italian lines broke under the furious onslaught of the Germans and Austrians last winter, it was the Red Cross workers, behind the lines, that heartened the fleeing soldiers, fed the hungry, cared for the wounded, and saved the day to civilization; and it is now the American Red Cross Society in France which provides for the family of the French soldier and nerves him to stick, stick, stick to the end. Up to March 1st nearly fifty millions had been spent among our allies.
I see before me now 250 young women. Last week, and the week before, I saw 300 of the finest boys on the globe leave our midst for the battlefields of France. They are the very young men who
are most interested in you. In God's own way it is these boys, and such as they, who shall share your future life with you. Every one of them is a hero. Marcus Curtius, Arnold Winkelried, Horatius at the Bridge, what have these heroes of song and of story on our boys? Nothing. Christ died to save men from hell and perdition. These young men will die, if need be, to save you young women from worse than hell. True, they are fighting for their country and are every inch patriots; but, after all, dear young women, it is for you, and you, and you, that they fight. Behind every bayonet, as it flashes in the sunshine of France and buries itself in the bowels of some savage German, is the stimulating memory of you, the girl he left behind. And the honor and glory of being thought worthy of you-- the thought that you love and honor him--will nerve and sustain him to the end. But one flutter of your handkerchief, and he will storm the ramparts of hell. Let us suppose that ten years ago it had been known in Raleigh that
one young man--just one--had volunteered to save you and me from direful calamity--to die for us--what crowds would have gathered to greet him! What a hero and a martyr he would have been! How we would have shed tears as we gazed upon him, and how our bosoms would have swelled with emotion as we did him honor! Yea, how we would have begged a hair
of him for memory! And what have we now? Thousands and tens of thousands of young men coming forward to the conflict with a serenity and a high-hearted gaiety, the only rivalry being who first shall be privileged to die for his country; the only disappointment, to be held back from the firing line.
I know that you honor and love these gallant boys. They at the front, and you at home, keeping the fires burning on the altars, will, under God, redeem the world from tyranny. And how supreme must be your contempt for the dastard in war--that cowardly fellow who gets himself exempt from service. When the Greeks had been defeated by the Asiatics, and Xenophon had called a council of the braves, one fellow, Apollonides by name, arose and counseled surrender. Then spake brave Agasias: "This fellow is no Greek; he is an Asiatic. See! He has both his ears bored!"
I charge you, young women, to join the Red Cross Society, to co-operate with the Y. M. C. A. work, to be one of the glorious canteen girls and of the Woman's Council of National Defense, and some of you to serve humanity as trained nurses on the battlefields of France.
Once upon a time, Dean Corwin made an appeal to a great London audience for the little orphans under his charge. The appeal touched every heart. Women gave all their money and threw their jewels
and ornaments into the cause. I do not ask you to do this--though, what a cause is ours--just give all the money you have, and save your jewels!
This war is a mirror in which each one sees his own image reflected. To the man of faith the finger of God is seen in the burnished rows of steel; to the doubter the end of all things is at hand. To Winifred Kirkland there is a "new death" born of the war. To her the old death was but a barrier; the new death is a bond. The old death hid away our loved ones from conversation; the new death mingles their presence with our daily tasks. Today brave grief is a sign of the soul's health.
But let's away with thoughts like these; they are not for your fresh and youthful souls. The rather let us fix our gaze with the steadfast eye of faith upon the day of our final triumph, as triumph we will; for ultimate truth has always triumphed, even as the river flows into the sea. The democracies of the world must justify their right to exist, and they will.
The women of America are doing their part, as women have always done, from the day of Martha and Mary to the midnight death of Edith Cavell at the cowardly hands of a people obsessed by the idea of their own greatness and engulfed in the welter of a paranoiac kultur.