||Nos. 4 & 5|
WHAT WE DEFEND
Mr. Daniels, the versatile explorer who discovered
both the South and New England, expresses admirably in the adjacent
column what many writers and orators have at tempted to say with more
and longer words.
Man has but three things to defend: his life, his
principles, and the land. But it is the last of these which, in a
certain basic sense, is the most important, because it sustains the
other two. It defines them, shapes them, nurtures them, and must be ever
inseparable from them.
Thus strikingly is reemphasized the intangible but
vastly significant values which are implicit in our national parks,
monuments, historic sites, and patriotic shrines. Thus are the Statue of
Liberty, Gettysburg, the Grand Canyon, and all the other superlative
natural and historical parcels of our soil reaffirmed in their roles as
American patriots. They stand as surely in the lines of defense as do
the people of America. They share with their human fellow citizens the
mutual obligations of national solidarity for national protection. Just
as we defend them, so do they defend us; they uphold our arm, strengthen
our purpose, and rally our morale.
As Director Drury has pointed out, some portions of
our national areas also may serve active military purposes when that use
is not inconsistent with the prime objectives of inclusive conservation.
If there be inconsistency, however, then it would be folly to permit the
act of defense to impair those very values which we seek to defend.
OUR STRENGTH IS IN OUR LAND
In a small voice which I wish were much louder I
would like to say that while we move, and properly, to be ready to
defend this land, we are already forgetting the land we defend. I mean
the land-- - the actual earth out of which our food grows and our
forests, which is at least as much America as the people on it. I know
we do not mean merely to defend a geographical area, but I lack the
faith that freedom for many of us could flourish in a desert. It does
not flourish now in those parts of America where the land is too worn
for men to farm it in security. War would mean a new wasting --- an
imperative, maybe patriotic wasting, a wasting nevertheless. . . It is
time people began to realize that conservation is a part of
preparedness. . . With famine rising again --- with the possibility that
food may win another war -- it is a cockeyed country which does not
consider, even in war terms, land use in the future in the light of land
use in the past. . .
Once war is here we cannot stop to count the
consequences of cutting down the pine trees --- to weep for the washing
of our hills into the rivers. But we can recognize in any intelligent
program of preparedness that our strength is still in our earth. Time
may not suffice for the development of any plan for the wisest use of
our land even for our defense of our land. But already we are building
battleships which will not be ready for years. So we admit the
possibility of some future for ourselves as well as for America. No
program for its protection --- no program for power -- will be effective
which neglects the land itself. Jonathan Daniels, Editor of the
Raleigh (North Carolina) News and Observer, and author of recent books
on the South and New England.