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State Papers and Addresses of Governor Herbert L. O'Conor
Volume 409, Page 120   View pdf image (33K)
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120 State Papers and Addresses

As the years followed, however, it became apparent to thoughtful ob-
servers that leadership in European nations was far from idealistic. Political
ambition and national greed with imperialistic design again asserted control.
The ideals for which the great War was claimed to have been fought were
either forgotten or abandoned, except for an occasional convenience of speech.
The policy that they can take and keep who are strong enough became domi-
nant again. The result has been what might have been expected—another
European War underway in full fury.

It is highly significant that we did not celebrate our entrance into the
World War. We celebrate our withdrawal from it. We realize that in its
true sense Armistice Day is no longer a celebration, rather it is a solemnization.
The debt which we owe to the men to whom this War Memorial is dedicated
can never be repaid, unless it come about that the purpose for which they
fought can be realized. No better place than this, in the very shadow of the
War Memorial could be imagined wherein to solemnize a pledge of peace.

The noble objectives for which America fought and sacrificed has apparently
failed. But the ideal is not dead. After the rage and destruction of the
present conflict that same ideal, which actuated us, will revive to aid the
troubled people of that continent.

While disappointed, let us not be dismayed. Rather let us dedicate our-
selves anew to America, its ideals, its institutions, its traditions, and its glorious
achievements—thankful for the ocean which separates us from the turmoil and
disaster of another European War.

Let us be thankful that our Country is blessed with freedom made possible
because men once fought to establish it. Let us, above all, be thankful for the
men who braved everything to make certain that American ideals and American
institutions should not be discarded. As long as the memory of their deeds
remains fresh, as long as their noble example is followed, America is safe.


Emerson Hotel, November 18, 1939

UPON acceptance of the invitation to attend this gathering of the largest
number of State employees yet held, it occurred to me that it would be
fitting to have a straight-from-the-shoulder talk with you regarding the Merit
System. I could imagine no topic which would be of greater interest, and con-
cerning which you have a better right to know the attitude of the present
administration, than regarding the classified service, affording benefits to its
individual members as well as to the public generally.

Before entering into a detailed discussion of various phases of the Merit
System let me observe that all of us, from the Governor to the humblest
employee, are servants of the people who have a right to expect dutiful and
efficient service. The time has long since passed, and fortunately so, when
inclusion on the public payroll meant an easy job with irregular hours and an
absence of exacting requirements. Through successive stages, public service


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State Papers and Addresses of Governor Herbert L. O'Conor
Volume 409, Page 120   View pdf image (33K)
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