Friday, November 11, 2011

A fitting tribute for any generation - Veteran's Day

Following the close of World War I General John J. Pershing, commander-in-chief of the American Expeditionary Forces sent a letter of thanks to each AEF Soldier. The following is a transcription of that letter, which is a fitting tribute to any generation of military veteran. 

G.H.Q.
American Expeditionary Forces
General Orders, No. 38-A
France, February 28, 1919

My Fellow Soldiers:

Now that your service with the American Expeditionary Forces is about to terminate, I can not let you go without a personal word. At the call to arms, the patriotic young manhood of America eagerly responded and became the formidable army whose decisive victories testify to its efficiency and its valor. With the support of the nation firmly united to defend the course of liberty, our army has executed the will of the people with resolute purpose. Our democracy has been tested, and the forces of autocracy have been defeated. To the glory of the citizen-solider, our troops have faithfully fulfilled their trust, and in a succession of brilliant offensives have overcome the menace to our civilization.

As an individual, your part in the world war has been an important one in the sum total of our achievements. Whether keeping lonely vigil in the trenches, or gallantly storming the enemy's stronghold; whether enduring monotonous drudgery at the rear, or sustaining the fighting line at the front, each has bravely and efficiently played his part. By willing sacrifice of personal rights; by cheerful endurance of hardship and privation; by vigor, strength and indomitable will, made effective by thorough organization and cordial co-operation, you inspired the war-worn Allies with new life and turned the tide of threatened defeat into overwhelming victory.

With a consecrated devotion to duty and a will to conquer, you have loyally served your country. By your exemplary conduct a standard has been established and maintained never  before attained by an army. With mind and body as clean and strong as the decisive blows you delivered against the foe, you are soon to return to the pursuits of peace. In leaving the scenes of your victories, may I ask that you carry home your high ideals and continue to live as you have served--an honor to the principles for which you have fought and to the fallen comrades you leave behind.

It is with pride in our success that I extend to you my sincere thanks for your splendid service to the army and to the nation.

Faithfully,

John J. Pershing
Commander in Chief

Official: Robert C. Davis, Adjutant General
Copy furnished to Sanford Darnell
Dean S. Barnard
Capt. 359th Infantry, Commanding

3 comments:

Sherri said...

My grandfather was in the A.E.F. but we don't have a copy of this letter. Thank you for sharing this tribute.

Frank's Daughter said...

My husband's great uncle, http://thetreeward.blogspot.com/2011/09/military-monday-herschel-lander-with.html served in the A.E.F. 4th Corps Balloon Group in France. This is a wonderful tribute to his and all the others who served.
Thanks for your post!

Linda Gartz said...

Hi Heather,
thanks for posting this fitting tribute to those who served in the military. My uncle was a WWII navigator -- B-17s. I have many of his papers that make me so proud of him. Your post about how to search for NARA documents will be invaluable to many. I like the photo of your Joseph and Mary Creed. Joseph is still incredibly handsome in this photo ( I coveredd his beard to envision just his face-- signs of the times). Thanks for you nice comments on my parents' wedding post. I have a different photo of their wedding on my photo wall -- but I love this one because it seems so spontaneous and they look SO happy. The writing and detail on your blog are quite impressive!