If I am asked what we are fighting for, I can reply in two sentences. In the first place, to fulfil a solemn international obligation … an obligation of honor which no self-respecting man could possibly have repudiated. I say, secondly, we are fighting to vindicate the principle that small nationalities are not to be crushed in defiance of international good faith at the arbitrary will of a strong and overmastering Power.
Premier Asquith, Statement, to House of Commons, Declaration of War with Germany, August 4, 1914.
The Nation has need of all that can be contributed to it through the best efforts of all its citizens. The colored people have repeatedly proved their devotion to the high ideals of our country. They gave their services in the war with the same patriotism and readiness that other citizens did. The records of the selective draft show that somewhat more than 2,250,000 colored men were registered. The records further prove that, far from seeking to avoid participation in the national defense, they showed that they wished to enlist before the selective service act was put into operation, and they did not attempt to evade that act afterwards.
Calvin Coolidge, as quoted in commencement address at Howard University (6 June 1924), Washington, D.C.
For all the astounding growth in man’s power, there had been no parallel increase in responsibility. The caveman with the club was now a caveman with a machine gun.
John O’Farrell An Utterly Impartial History of Britain (2007)
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Wilfred Owen, from Anthem for Doomed Youth.
In war-time the word patriotism means suppression of truth.
Siegfried Sassoon in Memoirs of an Infantry Officer.