Average Americans Description
No truer words can be spoken than these that appear in the opening of Chapter one. “Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined." (ALEXANDER POPE.) Former President Theodore Roosevelt taught by example and his children were inclined to follow his reasoning. The folly of many that were bent by a promise to keep us out of war were inclined to make average Americans pay a horrendous price in blood and money. Theodore Roosevelt's family was willing to pay the price for others’ ill-reasoned folly because they truly believed that it is every person’s duty to protect their country. Actions speak louder than eloquent words and the Roosevelts always back up their words with action when it is required.
I could simply say that this book is an indictment of the Wilson Administration. But it is much more. It also gives a first hand view of life in France as it was before and during World War One. The author tells of the horrors of war that he witnessed from an on-the-ground soldier's perspective. Soldiers must face the reality of carnage around them and be able to move forward despite witnessing things that would have the weak of heart cower with fear. You can notice the soldier’s battlefield perspective as TR Jr's words paint the story of what war is with the type of accuracy his father demanded in historical writing.
Nearly a quarter century after this book was written June 6, 1944 the author & Quentin Roosevelt became the only American father and son to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. “When “Asked what had made D-Day a success for the Allies, General Omar Bradley said, "Ted Roosevelt - Utah Beach." General George Patton seconded the thought, calling Roosevelt "the bravest soldier I ever knew." “For his actions that day, Roosevelt would receive the Medal Of Honor posthumously, for he had died of a heart attack on July 12, 1944, after his men had liberated the French port of Cherbourg”.
What follows are 3 short excerpts from “Average Americans”.
1. "If we had a trained army like the Swiss, Germany would never dare commit any offenses against us, and, furthermore, I believe it highly possible that the entire war might have been avoided," was a statement often made to me by father at the beginning of the war. (Theodore Roosevelt Jr.)
2. My wife even then announced her intention of going to Europe in some auxiliary branch, but she promised me she would not start without my permission. The promise was evidently made in the Pick-wickian sense, as when I cabled her from Europe not to come the answer that I got was the announcement of her arrival in Paris. There were six of our immediate family in the American expeditionary forces—my wife, one brother-in-law, Richard Derby, and we four brothers.” (Theodore Roosevelt Jr.)
3. I now strike hands with any one who is sound on Americanism and on speeding up the war and putting it through to the finish; but we ought to take heed of our industrial and social matters too."— Thanksgiving Day, 1917. (Former President Theodore Roosevelt)
This book makes me angry because I believe that if two of the people TR strikes hands with in 1917 would have trusted TR in 1912 this book most likely would never have been written because Wilson never would have been president and war could have been avoided. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and millions of others may have had an opportunity to live a different life. Perhaps some may have heard that the seeds to World War Two were sown in World War One, which further proves the fact that, the "Most dangerous people in the World are those that believe they know something that they do not know". Taft and Root believed they were protecting the constitution when they denied 200 Roosevelt, fairly won delegates a seat in the 1912 Republican National convention. TR was advocating doing something about judges legislating from the bench in 1912. Taft and Root decided to stop him from getting an opportunity to do that by any means possible. But for this action the most likely presidential winner would have been fearlessly but diplomatically advising Germany prior to World War One. If President Theodore Roosevelt in 1913 advised Germany as he did in his earlier administrations Germany would have fully understood the bigger picture. A bully will back down if they understand they will not like the consequences of their actions. Taft's and Root's action did not consider international matters nor did they consider that you should not steal a fairly won election. TR worked with Taft and Root in 1917 as a matter of National Security despite the evil that came from their actions.
If a tree grows and falls and no one is around to remember it's beauty or make use of the lumber produced by it’s days in the sun, does it actually have any value for having existed? Perhaps this statement is a bit cryptic. It may be better to say: We should revere and honor those that have given an extraordinary amount of their life correcting the folly of ill reasoning people by insuring their life story is not forgotten. Since we are their benefactors and when they have taken the time to document errors that should be avoided is it not folly to stop retelling their story. If 99% of a new generation have not a clue about how the little twig was bent to incline perhaps there is something missing which is not conducive to traveling a better way of living.
Those that have put aside their own interests so that others would benefit in the future should have their life's story told and retold as long as their efforts continue to help us prosper. Do you believe that Americans as a whole have a clue about what Theodore Roosevelt and his family has given us, and what personal interest they have set aside?