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Memorial Address at Ionia

1927

I'm not saying this to alarm you, but the World War was a pathetic disappointment- it revealed no progress for making the world safe for democracy. Other wars will follow.

This country is the richest in the world, while other nations are in permanent bankruptcy, with poverty, hunger and death. The next war will be about as far away from the World War in its methods as the World War was from the Spanish-American war. Aeroplanes and chemistry will be the chief agents.

I am for preparedness on a new plan. I hate war- it is a disease. There is no compensation that will replace human lives- the loved ones who perished in these conflicts.

I am in favor of preparedness, not with cannons and warships, but there are other ways of preparing with only a reasonable preparedness in the usual way. I am not in favor of saturating the youth of today with war ideals.

There is one sign of peace that the newspapers of the nation have overlooked, and that is the more friendly relationship between France and America. It is a hopeful sign of permanent peace.

Our internal welfare has much to do with preserving peace sooner or later. There are 118,000,000 people and only 10,000,000 are paying income tax. This is as it should be because the great national debt it being lifted without any great burden to anyone.

Co-operation is needed between the working man and industry. I appeal to those of wealth and industry to have their employees share in dividends.

There are too many people with 'comfort' as their slogan. They want a comfortable job, a comfortable income, a comfortable home, comfortable surroundings, comfortable death and comfortable burial. I believe that there are too many of us that make prosperity our god. It is possible to be too prosperous and become lax and loose. I say put humanity first and money second and even further down the line if needs be.

The American home is imperiled. I am not here to alarm you, but the youth of today are doing the best that they can with the fathers and mothers they have, as it is they who train them. It is impossible for the boys and girls of today to attain the real education they should have without the fundamentals that should come from the home.


Source: Newton, Roy, editor. Life and Works of Woodbridge N. Ferris. (Big Rapids, Michigan: n.p., 1960), 279-282.


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