Ofe1Y1N'r COLLECTION, Wednesday, 9 A.M.
27 September 1939
We are living in one of the great ctitical
ages of history. The disaster which begins this month as
you begin your college studies threatens even to destroy
the culture which it is your purpose here to master. You
must do your work this year, and perhaps for all the rest
of your college course, in the shadow of war just as truly
as if we were ourselves engaged in that conflict. You will
read and think much about the problems which it raises. It
is right that you should do so. These questions of the war
can never be settled on the battlefield but only in the
minds of men of intelligence and good-will. It is im-portant
for all of us that we should face these problems
unflinchingly in order, if possible, that this nation,
which has been spared the pain of actual participation in
the conflict, may playa worthy part in the ~elief of distress
and suffering and in assisting to build better
international order when at last this war is over.
The war is for all of us in this country a
test for idealism, of courage, and of clarity of thought.
~n th~ confusion of the moment it is important that we should
remember that we have a stake in this war: we should be
neutral, but we cannot be indifferent. To talk as if it
made no differente whether victory went to the democracies
or to the dictatorships is to ignore the facts of the
situation and the deep rooted conviction of the vast majority
of the people in this country.