WASHINGTON — The President has issued a proclamation fixing June 5 as the date upon which all men aged from 21 to 30 shall register at the recruiting stations.
After detailing the manner in which the law shall be put into effect, the penalties for not registering and the exemptions provided for, the President’s proclamation insists, in strong terms, upon the necessity for the nation to organize itself for the struggle.
The proclamation says in part : — “The Power with which we are at war seeks to impose its will on the world by force. For that reason it has increased its armaments until it has succeeded in changing the conditions of war. Armies do not exist, as we knew them, in this struggle. Entire nations are under arms. The men who till the soil and work in the factories are no less a part of the army of France than those who are in the trenches.
“It should be the same with us. We should prepare, not only the army for war, but the nation itself. Our people should show a solid front against the common enemy. That will not be possible if each one continues to occupy himself with his own affairs. On the contrary, every one of us should pursue a single end.
“The nation has need of all her sons. She has need of each man, not in the post which pleases him best, but in that where he will be the most useful. Thus, the good shot might prefer, perhaps, to work in the factory, while the expert mechanic would rather enlist in the ranks. The nation will be well served only if the good shot marches with the colors and the mechanic remains at his machine.
“The nation ought to be an organization in which each does his part. Congress has wisely decreed that the citizens of the nation shall be divided into classes and that men shall be put into those classes where they will be the most useful. The significance of this law cannot perhaps be exaggerated. It is a new thing in history — a fresh step in our progress.” — The New York Herald, European Edition, May 20, 1917