A plan to rebuild the devastated sections of France through organized financing by American cities has recently been brought before the public. For example, New York and Boston could accumulate funds to rebuild Rheims, and the little towns and villages of France could be taken care of by some of our smaller cities. This idea merits serious consideration, both for its sentimental and its practical value.
It is unnecessary to emphasize our debt to France. For her services to us in 1776 and for her services to us at the Marne and in three long years of war, our obligation can not be wiped out by our entrance into the war. We came in by necessity, for our own rights and the safety of the world. France is still our creditor. We can help pay our debt by rebuilding her stricken districts. In doing this we shall accomplish an end at once much needed and entirely practical.
France could be much speeded on the road to normal conditions if the strain of rebuilding were shifted to less tired shoulders. It will be hard enough for her to return to every-day social and economic life without the added burden of having a large part of her territory to rebuild. Our cities, which will never feel the strain of war to such a degree, can rebuild the devastated towns with half the effort it would cost the French. The results would be immediate and lasting.
We should give this plan hearty support. The renovated cities of France would stand as a permanent monument to our gratitude and friendship.