A year ago tomorrow at the Memorial Day exercises in memory of Harvard men who had fallen in the war President Lowell, expressing the feeling of the anxious audience, spoke of that occasion as "the darkest day since the United States entered the war." With the German hordes pouring over the Marne, the allied armies apparently unable to give any adequate resistance, civilization seemed very much in the balance. And Memorial Day took on a new significance. Instead of a time-honored function to commemorate the dead of the Civil and the Spanish Wars,--a memory of battles which somehow lacked reality to the generation of college men,--we were gathered in honor of men, some of whose faces we had known, men who had died fighting for a cause which had become to all of us the most intimate part of our lives.
The year that has passed has been full of glorious victories; results have been attained in shorter time than most of us then dreamed. And the Honor Roll of Harvard Men which then numbered only eighty, has now reached three hundred.
Memorial Day this year, we must meet with mixed emotions: joy because the war has been brought to a victorious conclusion, inevitable sorrow, for the friends and long list of fellow students who died that we might once more live in peace. But beyond any feeling of happiness or sadness we may have, there must be paramount in our minds, a deeper sense of the high task which these men who died have bequeathed to us as living citizens of a world no longer at war. For it is our duty to live for the same cause for which they died, and to take courage in the belief which they have made immortal, that:
"The High Soul burns on to light men's feet
Where death for noble ends makes dying sweet."