EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS
THE GREAT WAR
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
From The Van Nuys News ~ Van Nuys ~ California
January 18, 1918
You have laid down your knitting to read the paper. The chances are fifty-five or better that you are knitting a sweater that won't fit or a scarf that is too narrow or too wide, for some soldier or sailor, and the other end of the bet and it may be the safer end is that you are knitting a mustard-colored sweater for yourself.
The boys need sweaters and scarfs, and more still they need something that you can give them and not interfere with your knitting. They need association with the sort of girl you are the good girl, the home girl the sort of girl they went to see on "beau night back in Syracuse, or Escanaba, or Nampa, or Hermosa.
There are soldiers passing through your home town, or, may be, there is a great cantonment near you. What are yon doing for these boys that a knitting machine couldn't do? They are the same kind of boys that you have always known they are the best boys, the cleanest boys that the country has produced.
You can give them something Infinitely finer than a sweater something that will warm them more than a scarf. You can give them a memory of virtue, and character, and patriotism to take to France with them that will represent an ideal to them an ideal of home, mother, sister, and sweetheart, of all that personifies country, of all of which the flag is the emblem an ideal to fight for, to die for. You can give them this if you will open your home to them, if you will place in your window some sign that will say to them that any man in the uniform of our country is welcome there.
Many of these boys have never before been away from home. They are homesick. They are worked hard five and a half days a week and then they go to town on leave. By that time they are ready for anything that will help them forget their homesickness. Here is where you can help.
There are girls who meet them on the street corners little fools who mean no harm and do a lot of it and there are other girls, who live under the red light, and serve, unwittingly, the kaiser.
From these two classes you can protect the boy who has gone away from his home to learn to fight for you and your home. If a bad woman may hang a sign in her window to lure men to destruction, it is your duty to display an emblem upon your home that will offer these men the home life which is the only antidote for the homesickness which drives them to purchase evil companionship.
Submitted by David Sorochty