Excerpt from The Building of the Nation
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Associated Press: - For the honor of the invitation to be your guest I am deeply sensible, and for that honor I wish first to express my grateful appreciation. It is no small compliment to be permitted to speak at a time like this to a great company of men, drawn from all parts of our nation, representing every shade of opinion, who are single-minded in their devotion to truth and to its interpretation as they see and understand it, and in their devotion to our common America.
In this presence of men of affairs, so closely in touch with the movement of opinion all over the world, accustomed to guide, to express, to formulate it, there is nothing that I can possibly say that you do not already know. But I remember that it is out of the reflections of individuals, and out of their reaction to the changing course of events that first public opinion and then history is made.
If any significance be attached to what I shall briefly say in your presence, it can only be because it represents the attempt of one American who feels keenly the responsibility of his country and of its entire citizenship at this moment when the world stands at a crossroads in its path of progress. If we stand at that crossroads irresolute, paralyzed of word and will, history will have one story to tell.
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