On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson, the former "peace candidate," addressed Congress. War could not be avoided. He said, "[T]he right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts -- for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free. To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other."
of His terrible swift sword:
On December 8, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke to Congress. In the aftermath of the brutal Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt demanded a Congressional declaration of war. "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory," Roosevelt averred. "There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God."
His truth is marching on.
On January 31, 2006, as American troops were engaged in remote areas of the Islamic world, President George W. Bush gave his State of the Union Address. "Lincoln could have accepted peace at the cost of disunity and continued slavery," Bush said. "Martin Luther King could have stopped at Birmingham or at Selma, and achieved only half a victory over segregation. The United States could have accepted the permanent division of Europe, and been complicit in the oppression of others. Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?"