Franklin D. Roosevelt

Greeting to Yank Magazine on the Publication of Its First Issue.

May 28, 1942

To you fighting men of our armed forces overseas your Commander in Chief sends greetings in this, the first issue of your own magazine.

In Yank you have established a publication which cannot be understood by your enemies. It is inconceivable to them that a soldier should be allowed to express his own thoughts, his ideas, and his opinions. It is inconceivable to them that any soldiers or any citizens, for that matter—should have any thoughts other than those dictated by their leaders.

But here is the evidence that you have your own ideas, and the intelligence and the humor and the freedom to express them. Every one of you has an individual mission in this war—this greatest and most decisive of all wars. You are not only fighting for your own country and your people—you are, in the larger sense, delegates of freedom.

Upon you and upon your comrades in arms of all the United Nations depend the lives and liberties of all the human race. You bear with you the hopes of all the millions who have suffered under the oppression of the war lords of Germany and Japan. You bear with you the highest aspirations of mankind for a life of peace and decency under God.

All of you well know your own personal stakes in this war: your homes, your families, your free churches, the thousand and one simple, homely little virtues which Americans fought to establish, and which Americans have fought to protect, and which Americans today are fighting to extend and perpetuate throughout this earth.

I hope that for you men of our armed forces this paper will be a link with your families and your friends. As your Commander in Chief, I look forward myself to reading Yank—every issue of it—from cover to cover.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Greeting to Yank Magazine on the Publication of Its First Issue. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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