Herbert Hoover photo

Address to the American National Red Cross.

May 05, 1930

IT GIVES ME a great deal of pleasure to participate in the convocation of the meeting of the officers of the American Red Cross.

The past 15 years has seen a great change in the purpose and an expansion in the benevolent activities of this, our great official association for the administration of national charity. Originally designed for succor in war, it has now become also the national agency for relief of disaster in peacetime, both at home and abroad. The past decade it has distinguished itself a score of times by effective organization of the saving of life and suffering. Its ever-increasing strength represents the growing of the spiritual sense of responsibility of the Nation toward those who meet with disaster.

The Nation has grown to complete confidence in the efficiency, ability, and single-mindedness of the Red Cross. We have come to intrust it with a great responsibility, for the Red Cross is today the expression of the national will, the national sympathy, for all those overtaken by catastrophe of storm, of flood, of famine. Its call to charity to meet these emergencies is mandatory upon the heart of the Nation.

It is a grave responsibility that the Red Cross holds for our. country, and there is implied in it a preparedness for ready and instant action. And in discharge of this great responsibility it represents more than just coldblooded efficiency. The American Red Cross represents the spiritual quality, the charity, and sympathy of a nation to the helpless.

Without question the Red Cross Societies of many countries occupy an equally high place in the confidence of their people and governments. That these great national agencies should come together in the common purpose of preventing and ameliorating suffering throughout the world is in harmony with the spirit of the age. The Red Cross thus becomes a universal agency for giving practical expression to international good will and to that human sympathy which is the common heritage of all.

Many years of acquaintance gives me knowledge of the effectiveness and devotion of your Chairman, your staff, and the self-sacrificing service of your nationwide organization.

In the name of the American people I welcome you to our National Capital and wish you well in your deliberations.

Note: The President spoke at the opening session of the annual convention of the American National Red Cross, assembled in the Chamber of Commerce Building, Washington, D.C. His address was carried by the National Broadcasting Company and the Columbia Broadcasting System radio networks.

Herbert Hoover, Address to the American National Red Cross. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/210285

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