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Address by Secretary Newton D. Baker

From: "Addresses Made by General John J. Pershing, U.S.A., and Secretary of War Newton D. Baker. to Officers and Soldiers of the 33rd Division in the Field, Luxembourg, April 22, 1919.", Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, volume 15, numbers 1-2: 519-523. (Reported by Sgt. H. L. Livingstone, Q. M. C., 33rd Division, 1907 S. 8th St., Springfield, Ill.)


This splendid review which you have given us today has called upon you to begin early in the morning to get ready, and now we are at the setting of the sun and many of you have to scatter to remote places so it would not be just for me to take more than a minute to express the sentiment of gratitude I feel at having been privileged to witness you today as a complete Division in battle array.

I do want, however, to tell you that those of us who see you as you now are have thrills which you perhaps little understand, and now that we have come to the sunset of this great enterprise I bring you not only thanks for the inspiration you have given us, not only thanks for the great work you have done, but having very recently come from the other side I bring you a message of love and welcome from home. You are about to sail and when you get to the other side you will find the arms of the United States stretched out in welcome to you, from the port to your own homes, all along the line the flags will be out and your friends ready.

The story of what you have done will for days be the only subject of discussion and throughout your whole lives it will be the great thing for conversation and memory.

I have watched this great army grow on both sides of the water. It did not grow like a poppy but it took genius to make it grow. It took genius to organize in France for the receipt of this army, drill it, place it, and take care of it. It takes genius to send this army home in the way you have been invited to go home, and I want, in your presence today, not only to thank the man power of the army, but also to thank your great Commander-in-Chief, and ask you to join me in three cheers for General Pershing.

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