THE SOLDIER VIRGIN OF FRANCE
[Joan of Arc]
Message of World Peace
By a Soldier of the A.E.F.
Wm. P. Yancey, Gainesville, Fla.
Transcribed by Marsha Cain Richardson(great granddaughter of Wm. P. Yancey)
History indicated that the individuals and nations which prosper most are those which admit past errors and strive to undo the wrongs done by themselves or ancestors. The most fortunate and honorable people are those who admit the errors of their own side, and who strive to turn defeat into victory, but only such victory as will advance true civilization.
In the interests of the cause at hand let us observe our own errors especially in the great war. We should admit that it was wrong to permit the carrying on of needless carnage when the beaten enemy was everywhere pleading for cessation, and when further fighting was plainly gratification of blood-lust.
Can we not advance the cause of national Honor and world Peace by accepting "The Maid of Orleans" as a Military Model, and take home a lesson from her methods on that Sunday morning in 1426 when she allowed the retreating enemy to go in peace? And cannot we find kindred features in the careers of the victors of Orleans and Appomattox?
We have done well to honor the victor of Appomattox who plead to his falling foes for cessation of hostilities and effectively showed them that further carnage would be wanton waste of life.
And we may teach the world a lesson from the various causes, effects and results of our own civil war. We may teach that just as we have built up a system by which war never recur in our own nation-so well there be built a system by which-WAR WILL NEVER RECUR IN OUR WORLD.
We can promote the cause of Peace by honoring valiant men who honestly cast their lot and lost, but even tho they were our own countrymen or ancestors, we should admit the truth-admit that The Cause Of Right Did Win.
While we do not mean to criticize any commanders on either side of any war, we would fail in duty to our purpose if we did not say that those who considered pillage and arson as justifiable military expedients and did not act in line who those stars of military history-Caesar, Jenne, Washington and Grant.
And let us further say that while we should be prepared to effectively destroy our enemies in time of war, we should not honor wanton destruction of life or property or honor any methods which savor of brigandage or piracy. We can promote the interests of World Peace by spreading the knowledge that such methods have never brought lasting benefits to a nation or lasting honors to me who practiced such.
Bedford could have served the interest of his county by logically considering the message sent him by the peasant maid, and that international question would have been settled without blood-shed. Jeanne brought the message that the world must quit settling its quarrels with blood, and if that message had been heeded, England might still hold all that was her own and Flanders would be a part of her nation.
Jenne now proclaims that message to the world-and every nation will do well by heeding such messages. The virgin martyr crowned her mortal life in such way as to make her name imperishable in history and add to her lesser mission, the greater mission of bringing -PEACE TO ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH.
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In justice to that church whose agent condemned the innocent maid, and in justice to the people of that country whose representative caused the act, we quote some extracts from the writings of a notable English author and lecturer, Rev. Father Bernard Vaughn.
That clergyman-writer says: "I have always been puzzled to know why my countrymen who fought against the maid preferred to regard her as a heretic instead of a heroine and saint, for it is more honorable to admit defeat at the hands of the unworthy than the unworthy, and all must admit that those Englishmen lost the cause for which they fought."
"Joan of Arc is the flower of chivalry, the glory of the church, the object lesson for both sexes and all nations for all time. She is the gentlest of the gentle, the truest of the true, a virgin among virgins, a martyr among martyrs, to the bitter end loyal to her voices, and amid the flames of fire the loftiest, loveliest, holiest pucelle de Dieu."
"I have read no grander page in the history of my country than that which panagyrizes "The Maid of France" offering to her its acts of reparation for the past, and proclaiming thru its world-wide press, its unstinted appreciation of her character-stainless, chivalrous and heroic. As I pass I review, the various characters that have gone to make history, there is not one of them that stands out in bolder relief, in finer proportions, in nobler aspect or with loftier ideals than the character of the village maiden born on the vigil of Epiphany fourteen hundred and twelve."
"The mind almost reels as it recalls the tremendous events which marked that splendid pathetic life."
"I have finished the sketch of Joan of Arc. I have attempted to put before you the picture of the peasant girl who for all time and for all people stands out as the rarest and fairest ideal of a True Christian Patriot."
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We have finished our story. It is the road-map to -THE GATES OF WORLD PEACE. Let us profit by the history of past success and as we move on salute-THE SOLDIER VIRGIN OF FRANCE.