Remarks in Cornish, Vermont

August 30, 1902

I want to thank you for what you have done and for the very kind and graceful way in which you have greeted me this morning; and I cannot think of anything that augurs better for the country than in just such a typical old American town as this to have the school children drawn up before a monument like that in the birthplace of Salmon P. Chase and to have them look toward you—you the men of the great Civil War, you who proved your truth by your endeavor—and to see in you example of what they are to be when they grow up. I believe in preaching, but I believe in practice a good deal more, and it has been given to you, my friends of the great Civil War, to practice in the four years when the life of the republic was at stake the virtues which we so earnestly ask our children shall learn and you practiced the virtues not only that count in war, but that count in peace. Of course, there are exceptions, but ordinarily the man who is a first-class soldier in war has got in him the stuff that is going to make out of him a first-class citizen in time of peace. The men who in this beautiful country of yours till the soil, make their living here, and breed up American citizens have to show the same fundamental righteousness and the same strong virile virtues that you did in time of war. It is not enough, gentlemen, to mean well either in battle or in civil life; you not only had to mean well, you had to do well, and it is the same thing in civil life. I think there is but one class of people who deserve as well as the soldiers and those are they who teach the children of the present how to be the masters of our country in the future. I thank you.

Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks in Cornish, Vermont Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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