While there is no possibility of the national bond issue failing, since the temper of our people is what it is, yet it rests on each man to see that he measures up to the temper of his people. It is the rule of democracies that what is everybody's business is nobody's business; and the overwhelming success of the Liberty Loan being in strong measure everybody's business, there is always the possibility that each individual will leave the task of successfully concluding that business to the indeterminate "public."
Our nation does not need to be frightened into blind purchase by the threat of an indemnity being demanded in case of a German victory. But it does need to realize that each citizen must bear his financial share of the cost of war. There may be no evasion of individual responsibility.
It is a truth so plainly truthful as to need no statement that the bonds of our Government are the safest way in which an investor may conserve his money for future use, at the same time enjoying interest. Behind them rests all the resources of this land, every factory, every railroad, every mine, and all the incalculable wealth of fields and forests. Behind them rests even the skill, the enterprise and ingenuity of our people. If property is safe, if the nation is safe, if life is safe, then those bonds are safe. And if those bonds are not safe, then a man had as well consign his gold to the sea and his existence to oblivion, for the world is at an end.
Those men who now are preparing for their departure to fight the enemy which desolates France, keep with them the responsibility of those non-combattants who at home depend on them for existence. In no surer way may a soldier consign his property to his dependents than in Government bonds. In so doing he insures them against the dangers of illy-invested capital and the waste of non-productive capital. In so doing he also in a way lays odds on his own strength of heart and arm and the strength of those hundreds of thousands who go to war with him.
Those men who may not, or are not going to war, have in the Liberty Loan a way of showing their confidence in those who pay their irredeemable lives for the nation's being. They cannot fail to equal in cheaply gained gold that sacrifice which others make and may not regain, having made it.
A century ago Germany's women melted their wedding rings for gold to defend their native land. Germany will do the like again, before she will admit bitter defeat. Should it be said, either now scornfully by our enemy who sacrifices his all, or by victory which without distortion records the great and the little in national deeds, that we failed, for all our wealth and all our pride, to equal in one decima that which Germany does? That in itself, irrespective of the outcome of the conflict of arms, would be defeat.