Harry S. Truman photo

Radio Address to the American People on Armistice Day.

November 11, 1951

THIS Sunday is Armistice Day, the anniversary of the day the fighting ended in World War I.

On that first Armistice Day, we hoped that we had won a real and lasting peace for all the world.

We were disappointed in that hope. We were disappointed because, having won the peace, we failed to measure up to our responsibilities for keeping the peace. And because we failed to do this after World War I, we had to fight a second terrible world war.

We have learned a lesson out of that experience. Today, we face new threats of aggression in the world, new dangers of world war. But this time we have accepted our responsibility to meet those threats and dangers.

Peace--real lasting peace--remains our greatest goal. But this time we are not just going to hope for peace; we are determined to work for it, hard and actively, with all our resources.

Now we are engaged in a great national effort to build up enough strength and economic power so we and all the peaceful nations can be secure against the threats of new aggression in the world today.

This way we hope to prove to the aggressors that they cannot afford the cost of war. This way we hope to keep the peace.

In building up this great strength, there is work for all of us to do. It will take all of us to do the jobs that must be done in our Armed Forces, in our civil defense organizations, on our farms, and in our mines and factories. This is not just a man's job. It is a woman's job too. There is great work to be done by the women of this country in every part of our national effort. Take our military forces, for example.

There are now 40,000 women on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. In the next 7 months, we hope at least 72,000 more will volunteer for service.

Our Armed Forces need these women. They need them badly. They need them to undertake every type of work except duty in actual combat formations.

Women are now serving in every branch of the Armed Forces. They serve in communications centers and supply organizations, and medical installations, and many, many other vital activities. They are continuing to do fine jobs as nurses and medical specialists. They have won for themselves a full place as regular members of our Armed Forces.

This is a tribute to the young women of our country. But it is more than a tribute--it is a great opportunity, too. For the armed services. have much to offer the young women who join our active forces. These women have an opportunity to make a vital contribution to our national security. They have an opportunity to learn new skills that will help them advance in their chosen fields of work.

There is nothing more constructive that young women in the United States can do for themselves and for their country than answer the call to service with our Armed Forces.

This is a way--a real, direct, and positive way--that they can help secure the peace and safeguard freedom in the world.

Note: The President's address was prerecorded for release at 11 a.m.

Harry S. Truman, Radio Address to the American People on Armistice Day. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231282

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