This is a day of big things, of staggering questions, of unprecedented undertakings, and of incredible happenings. It is almost true that the incredible is the only believable and the impossible the only attainable. One can not be shocked or surprised or diffident any more. Therefore I entertained with complacency the suggestion that I meet you here and discuss the theme of the evening.
It is unnecessary for me to confess that I am not wise enough to dispose of this subject to your satisfaction or to my own. I am not equal to it; but I have the satisfaction of knowing that all of you are not, and even all of us at this head table are not. Perhaps a unified allied council may discover, indicate, and take all the necessary steps, but I am reasonably certain that nothing less will suffice.
There is one thing I like about the subject. It evidences the right spirit, the requisite determination, and a commendable and justifiable optimism. It assumes that we must and shall win, and win without undue delay. It implies that, having put our hand to the plow, we will not turn back, or even look back, and that we refuse to entertain the suggestion of possible failure.
First and Last Steps to Early Victory.
A clear, fixed, unalterable purpose to attain the ends we had in mind in accepting Germany's challenge, based on a thorough appreciation of the meaning of this struggle and a willingness to make all necessary sacrifices, I regard as the first and last most essential steps to an early victory. This war is a test of the spirit of nations, even more than of their material resources and strength. The issue of it depends on the relative intelligence, moral qualities and attitude of the people engaged.
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