Support for World War I

Written by Dick Perue

As the United States entered World War I against Germany, local newspapers were doing their part to help with front page headlines and articles, such as the one that appeared in the April 19, 1917, issue of “The Saratoga Sun.”

More Than One Way to be a Patriot, Says the President

In Address to All the People President Wilson Outlines Plans by Which All Citizens May Give Assistance to the Republic in Her Hour of Need – Great Food Store Needed

“The supreme test of the nation has come. We must all speak, act and serve together!” With these solemn words, President Wilson concluded his address to the nation issued from the White House Monday, in which he appeals to all his fellow country-men of both sexes to enroll themselves in a vast “service army” to marshal and increase the economic resources of the United States for the most effective use in the war with Germany.

“We are fighting,” says the president, “for what we believe and wish to be the rights of mankind and for the future peace and security of the world.”

The president’s appeal to this great “service army” to be formed for the nation’s defense, may be thus summarized:

To Farmers: Increase the production of your land and co-operate in the sale and distribution of your products.

To Men and Boys: Turn in hosts to the farms, to help cultivate and harvest the vast crops imperatively needed.

To Middle Men: Forego unusual profits and “organize and expedite shipments of supplies.”

To Railway Men: See to it that there shall be no “obstruction of any kind, no inefficiency or slackened power,” of the “arteries of the nation’s life.”

To Merchants: Take for your motto, “Small profits and quick service.”

To Shipbuilders: Speed construction of ships, for “the life of the war depends upon you.”

To Miners: If you “slacken or fail, armies and statesmen are helpless.”

To Manufacturing Men: “Speed and perfect every process,” for your “service is absolutely indispensable” to the nation.

To Gardeners: By creating and cultivating gardens, you can help greatly to solve the problem of “feeding the nations.”

To Housewives: Eliminate wastefulness and extravagance.

To Editors and Advertising Agencies: Give widespread circulation and repetition to this appeal.

An editorial on page 2 of the same newspaper urges:

Patriot and His Duty

The president’s statement to the country calling on all patriotic citizens to rally to the service, in some form or other, in the present crisis is timely and brings home to every man and woman whose love of country is paramount to his or her duty in the present trying times. This does not mean that all shall enlist to fight. Many, of course, must do that, but there is also an important service that the man who is to stay at home can render.

The farmer and stockman can see to it that the armies of this country and of the allies are furnished with meat and other food products, and this, in itself, is an important service to render to the country. At the present time, the farmer is already busy getting ready to plant additional crops, and the stockman also has a duty to perform in growing more forage crops for his stock and in bringing his animals to the highest efficiency for slaughter before marketing.

Those who are able can also render an important service in helping to provide for the destitute who will suffer as a result of the war, and there will be such. And, in helping to sustain the families of those who volunteer to fight, there are hundreds of ways in which the patriot may render a service to his country in this crisis. It is up to the individual to look for his opportunity and, when it comes, to do his duty, no matter what the sacrifice involved.