Signs of the Times

"If you wish to be free"

Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy
New York Herald Tribune We are determined to press on, shoulder to shoulder, in the West and in the East until our fluttering banners herald the resurrection of liberty of conscience, liberty of speech, liberty of action, and liberty of religion.

We believe in all these freedoms. We believe that they are the foundation stones of the good society. We have fought to win them; we have fought to preserve them. We are steadfast in our belief that humanity can and will improve with time and everlasting, unremitting effort: that the world is not doomed to suffer forever the scourges of war any more than the plagues of pestilence, and that a gentle Providence urges us upward and onward. We believe that rational human beings have all fundamental things in common and can shape their destiny to God's good will. We believe that the progress of the past is earnest of the progress of the future, and offers more than mere hope for peace and justice.

If we did not so believe, we would not be fighting this war; we would not be fighting for another chance for a better world. Put it this way: We say we are fighting for survival, for self-preservation, and self-interest. We are but that which we call "self-preservation" and "self-interest" rests on something profoundly fundamental. They rest on principles and convictions—ideals, if you wish— which have forever sustained and inspired... man.

July 31, 1943

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