Heroes And Hysterics, Daily Racing Form, 1918-10-17


view raw text

HEROES AND HYSTERICS L R Johnson of Cape Girnrdean Mo is the writer of the following letter which appears iu tho St Louis Republic RepublicProbably Probably it will remain for our returned soldiers to teach the nation true modesty and an abhorrence of the boaster In these respects our standards sadly need elevating The old homes of our races across seas have still something of value to toacli us usRecently Recently a visiting aviator of renown an Ameri ¬ can was Interviewed for the St Louis papers Ab ¬ solutely nothing would he say of his own exploits He stood upon the ethics which the war has written afresh and clearly the ethics of manly men in all ages agesWe We should blush as we look back at our untutored conduct in our little war with Spain We waged a wordy war over our Admirals Sampson and Schley and did justice to neither We acclaimed Dewey as we might a Nelson from Trafalgar and imme ¬ diately after engaged in a most undignified quarrel with that really highminded and gallant officer who could not understand the feminine moods of his nation nationWe We emptied our vials of sentimental gnsh on our one dramatic hero Hobson to the absolute ruin of that young man who doubtless was born possessed of some modesty Since that unfortunate time when he stood up to be kissed by platoons of silly girls he has lived upon our pervervid feelings of hero worship Capitalizing his exploit he has sub ¬ sisted upon the interest it paid first by an election to Congress and since then on Chatauqua platforms Every audience he faces expects to hear of that moonlight night in the harbor of Santiago and it never goes home disappointed As yet our vulgar taste is still ready to greet his caricature of Ameri ¬ can chivalry There is not an officers mess in France that would tolerate a Hobson HobsonOur Our heroes are largely what we make them 1C no officers mess in France would tolerate a Hob son it is equally true that even Parisians the most emotional Frenchmen superficially would not have made the ado which Americans made about the courage of Lieut Hobson or about the creditable workmanlike performance of duty which made Ad ¬ miral Dewey the hero of Manila Bay If the asser ¬ tion seems unwarranted consider the events of the present war in France FranceAmericans Americans have learned a great deal dtirins the last twenty years Possibly even probably they will learn more during this war than they learned between its beginning and the period of the Spanish American war Assuredly they will learn from the nations already in the field that a nation should not have hysterics because an officer does his duty and proves capable capableAmericans Americans now are fighting in the tracks of British and Frenchmen who faced the Germans in that critical period of the history of civilization when after many years of secret preparation and lustful plotting Prussianism fell upon the ill guarded frontiers of neijhx r nations with intent to pillage and to possess itsnlf of the land landWe We have rend headlines mainly up to the present time Soberer reading of a soberer text will fol ¬ low Then we shall know how magnificently yet how modestly our allies in Europe stemmed the tide of invasion hardly constituting one of innumerable heroes an idol In the meantime w know enough not to repeat the flamboyant follies of the Spanisli American war period when we Iwre a military or naval hero upon our shoulders one day and the next day Ixire him to the earth and set upon his chest u committee under orders to bore through his heart with an augur of investigation investigationLieut Lieut Hobson behaved admirably at Santiago Had the American people behaved admirably after ¬ ward he might have met the public half way but evil communications corrupt good manners A man is not only judged but also molded by the com ¬ pany he keeps molded and then not infrequently mauled when the company is temperament of the boisterous and notiony Louisville CourierJour ¬ nal

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1910s/drf1918101701/drf1918101701_4_4
Local Identifier: drf1918101701_4_4
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800