Remarks in White River Junction, Vermont

August 30, 1902

My fellow citizens:

I am very glad to see you here this afternoon. I have enjoyed my entry into your beautiful State. Vermont is one of those States which I feel most typically represent the American ideal; for Vermont has owed its leadership not to its material resources, but to the quality of citizenship that has been bred within its borders. It is a good thing to have great factories and great cities but it is a better thing to have strong and decent men and women. Vermont has always produced the type of citizen who knew how to take care of himself in time of peace and who in time of war knew how to take care of him self and of the other fellow too. Quite from its foundation you here in Vermont have shown by your works the faith that was in you; you showed that you believed in work. Play is a first rate thing, as long as you know it is play. Now I believe in playing and I believe in playing hard; but I don't believe in making a business of it. You here in Vermont showed that you were not to be led off into believing that mere ease was the end and aim of a man's life. You have shown that you appreciated the fact that to be a good citizen a man has got to handle himself not with a view to shirking difficulties but to meeting them and overcoming them. The individual who does that is a good citizen, and the nation that does it is a good nation.

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

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