Remarks in South Royalton, Vermont

August 30, 1902

My fellow citizens:

I am very glad to have the chance of greeting you today. I have greatly enjoyed my visit to your State. I am glad to see the school children here. It is a mighty good thing for a State to have other things too, but the children are the best. And I am glad to see always the veterans of the Civil War. I like to see them at the same meetings where you see the children, because they are the people who have actually put into practice what you preach to the children that we want to have done, comrades. Preaching is a first class thing, but practice is a better one. It is good to be able to have in your own town people to whom you can point because their metal rang true when the time of need came people who have done well in war and who have done well in peace. Now it is given to but few people in a generation to see any fighting. You ought not to want to see it anyway; but only now and then comes the chance to do the good work in war. And I will tell you it will not be worth while summoning our people to do well in war if they have not done well in peace beforehand. It is exactly as it is in the life of any individual hero. You meet the man who is going to wait before he does anything until he can do something heroic, and the chance doesn't come. The man who amounts to any thing as a citizen is the man who does the ordinary, everyday, commonplace duties well.

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

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