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                                PAPER XX

"Ours must once again be the spirit of those who were prepared to defend 
as they built, to defend as they worked, to defend as they worshipped." 

Address to the registrants under the Selective Service Law,
   October 16, 1940

On this day more than sixteen million young Americans are reviving the 
three-hundred-year-old American custom of the muster. They are obeying 
that first duty of free citizenship by which, from the earliest colonial 
times, every able-bodied citizen was subject to the call for service in 
the national defense. 

It is a day of deep and purposeful meaning in the lives of all of us. 
For on this day we Americans proclaim the vitality of our history, the 
singleness of our will and the unity of our nation. 

We prepare to keep the peace in this New World which free men have built 
for free men to live in. The United States, a nation of one hundred and 
thirty million people, has today only about five hundred thousand-half a 
million-officers and men in Army and National Guard. Other nations, 
smaller in population, have four and five and six million trained men in 
their armies. Our present program will train eight hundred thousand 
additional men this coming year and somewhat less than one million men 
each year thereafter. It is a program obviously of defensive preparation 
and of defensive preparation only. 

Calmly, without fear and without hysteria, but with clear determination, 
we are building guns and planes and tanks and ships-and all the other 
tools which modern defense requires. We are mobilizing our citizenship, 
for we are calling on men and women and property and money to join in 
making our defense effective. Today's registration for training and 
service is the keystone in the arch of our national defense. 

In the days when our forefathers laid the foundation of our democracy, 
every American family had to have its gun and know how to use it. Today 
we live under threats, threats of aggression from abroad, which call 
again for the same readiness, the same vigilance. Ours must once again 
be the spirit of those who were prepared to defend as they built, to 
defend as they worked, to defend as they worshipped. 

The duty of this day has been imposed upon us from without. Those who 
have dared to threaten the whole world with war-those who have created 
the name and deed of total war-have imposed upon us and upon all free 
peoples the necessity of preparation for total defense. 

But this day not only imposes a duty; it provides also an opportunity-an 
opportunity for united action in the cause of liberty-an 

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opportunity for the continuing creation on this continent of a country 
where the people alone shall be master, where the people shall be truly 

To the sixteen million young men who register today, I say that 
democracy is your cause-the cause of youth. 

Democracy is the one form of society which guarantees to every new 
generation of men the right to imagine and to attempt to bring to pass a 
better world. Under the despotisms the imagination of a better world and 
its achievement are alike forbidden. 

Your act today affirms not only your loyalty to your country, but your 
will to build your future for yourselves. 

We of today, with God's help, can bequeath to Americans of tomorrow a 
nation in which the ways of liberty and justice will survive and be 
secure. Such a nation must be devoted to the cause of peace. And it is 
for that cause that America arms itself. 

It is to that cause-the cause of peace-that we Americans today devote 
our national will and our national spirit and our national strength.