“The Fourth This Year,” from the editorial page of the Hickory Daily Record, July 3, 1917
July 4 this year will not resound with sound and fury, the purport of which is that the United States can whip the world. We have learned by this time that this country, unless its navy were able to starve off an enemy, could not meet on equal terms the land forces that any first class European or Asiatic power could transport to this country in a hundred transports. We have been slow in learning this important truth, but we have learned it well. Events in Europe, in which we are now virtually interested just now, has brought this fact home to us.
So July 4 this year will not be spent so much in pointing out what we have done as it will be an earnest endeavor to see how much we can do to prevent another war such as this from bringing want and misery to millions. The people of the United States are thinking not of past achievements, but are bending their energies in making it impossible for another autocracy to challenge the existence of democratic governments.
The Fourth this year finds American troops in France, American war vessels patrolling the waters of two hemispheres, and an American admiral commanding the combined British and American squadrons in British waters and thousands of men ready to serve their country and the world.
It will be a sober Fourth of July. But it will mean more to us on that account.