There was a time and not so long ago when all things seemed to pause, when the unfolding pattern of history paused and only darkness lay ahead. All that had been before, all the bitter and tragic struggles of man out of the slime and toward the light, all of that was apparently for no end. All of that was finished. All that we called civilization, the beauty we had made, the structures of stone and steel, the factories that made life easier and better, the hooks, the paintings, the dreams too, the philosophies we had sought so gropingly and fashioned into paths out of ignorance, the goodness of God that we had found for ourselves, the homes we had made and the futures we had planned all of that was as nothing and doomed. A malignant and embodied evil, an essence of evil so vile that it defied our comprehension, had arisen; and that evil, which calls itself fascism, was triumphant.
The world was divided, evil was pitted against good, and as most men saw it then, evil had triumphed.
That was when a deed was done outside of Moscow.
On the road to Smolensk, mankind was saved and redeemed; and though what we call civilization should go on for a hundred thousand years, until men are like Gods, that will not be forgotten.
I don't know how I, or any American, or any man in all the many countries of this earth, can pay tribute to the Soviet Union. As a writer, I have tried to learn to say things, to put them down with words; but this can hardly be said.
There is a better tribute to our Russian allies than words. There is the clean fresh air we breath as free men; there is the sunlight, streaming down on our old flag. There are our children, alive, not dead, nourished, not starving. There are our factories, the free men who go to work in them, our fields and the free men who plough and reap them. There are our soldiers, who fight in no lost cause but in the proudest alliance this world has ever
That is tribute, and better than words.
There are the numberless and nameless among us who would have been dead, but are alive because there was a Soviet Union. That too is a better tribute than words.
And there is greeting to our Soviet allies. Recently, we took out of safekeeping and put back into the light, where all could see it, a scroll of paper. And on that scroll, it said
"We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...."
There is greeting to our Soviet allies.
This friendship, this deep understanding, and this great good will that we have come to have toward our Soviet allies this is no thing of the moment. We have been brothers on the edge of darkness, and we will not lightly toss away our brotherhood. It is compounded of too many good things, of too much hope and promise to he lightly tossed away.
We are too much alike ever to be turned against each other, now that we have come to know each other. There are too many hopes and aspirations that bind us together. It is no accident that we made a pledge to each other and fought the same enemy, nor is it curious that when Russian and American soldiers meet their hands find an instant and warm response. If we understand Stalingrad, it is because we would have bled out our lives in the same way on the edge of Detroit, and we know it was only because there was a Stalingrad that the thunder of guns was not heard in Detroit.
The only jealousy between us now is the jealousy of two great peoples who will build what is good. To both nations, there is nothing that is impossible; and if we work together and with understanding, all things will be possible to us.
Together, with our allies, we fought the greatest people's war this world has known. Together, with our allies, we preserved civilization. We will move forward together into a time of peace, a time when nothing will be impossible to us.