IAGenWeb Iowa in the Great War



The Des Moines Register
Des Moines, Iowa
April 14, 1918
Page 18, Column 1


The United States is just at the threshold of the war.

In the last three weeks, our casualties in France have not exceeded fifty killed in battle. In the same period, Great Britain has lost at least 200,000 men, killed, wounded and missing.

Within a month, the war will begin to come home to the United States, Our casualty lists will soon amount to 1,000 a week, then to 10,000, one-fifth of these constituting Americans who sacrifice their lives for their country.

Will all Americans show the same spirit that moves the mother of Cecil Conley of Atlantic, Ia., who was killed last month in France? The following is taken from an appeal she issued to the people of her home city:

"Our little service flag in the window has been speaking to the passerby, saying, 'I am the voice of a soldier son, gone to be gone till the victory is won. I am the flag of a mother's son and won't come down till the victory is won." Already that blue star has ceased speaking and I am looking for a gold star to say to the people that Cecil has made the supreme sacrifice. Is money a sacrifice? You may replace it some time, but this boy will never be replaced. Oh, good people, will you not loan your money so that he will not have died in vain? I appeal to the women whose sons, husbands and brothers have gone where the war god thrives, if you are called upon to make the sacrifice, to be as brave as the women over there and I, being one of the first, am trying to be, hoping and praying that my bravery will help some one else."

Five million mothers in France and England have shown this spirit, when confronted by the same enduring loss.

Is the death of Cecil Conley going to be in vain? Is the death of Captain McHenry and of Corporal MacRae and of all the other Iowa boys to be in vain? Shall the millions of French soldiers, the more than a million British soldiers, and the tens of thousands of Americans have it written as their epitaphs that they died in a lost cause?

That cannot come to pass. The cause is too just. Its success is too necessary to the well-being of the world. The sacrifice has been too great to permit failure.

A German victory in this war will mean that the millions who have died are better off than those who survive. A German victory will mean that whole nations, assuming the burden which has been borne by Belgium and northern France, can only await a renewal of the struggle to throw off the Prussian rule.

There must be no failure and no faltering.

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Transcribed and contributed by Eileen Reed, September, 2016

~ source: 'The Des Moines Register, April 14, 1918
~ submitted by Cheryl Siebrass Cass County IAGenWeb



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