As written history of the wars of the world cannot make mention of the countless heroes, who, unknown to the general public, gave their all, even life itself, so unrecorded are the names of the majority citizenship of this and other states which gave loyal service, both at home and abroad, in the great war just ended. No detailed account can be given in this report of any of the many campaigns successfully carried out under the direction of the 62 County Councils of Defense. These bodies had no legal status other than that conferred by the State Council, and this parent body gave only general directions as to needed work. We pay tribute to every County Council that has been on duty since May 1917, and through them, to the individuals whose energy and loyalty made it possible for South Dakota to be 100 per cent productive in war time necessities. With few exceptions, all have responded to the call made upon them for service. Some have naturally had more to do than others. Many have taken particular interest in their work. Each Council knows its own degree of enthusiasm and what it has accomplished. Every citizen realizes the full extent of his or her performance of duty. Our State Council, and especially its officers, have a feeling of gratitude and admiration for certain workers, that words cannot express. To the women of our State should full credit be given for the accomplishment of results that men alone would never have obtained. On the food and fuel saving campaigns, it was always the housewife and the children that set the pace for the men to somewhat grudgingly follow. It was these same women who labored zealously at the Red Cross rooms or in their homes in order that hospital and other necessities be plentifully supplied. It was the women who cheered the departing and the home-coming boys with food and relishes. And in every financial drive many a close-fisted man has opened up his . purse strings, owing to the persuasion of the "women folks." To the many members of the Home Guard Companies who gave of their time to certain war work, the thanks and appreciation of our State Council are extended. They made for a greater spirit of loyalty within our State; they went on guard -duty in protection of -property; they had a "quieting" salutary influence upon certain undesirables within our borders and have furnished an added patriotic impulse to many who served in field and camp. The farmers of our State responded to the call for greater food production; the threshermen organized for careful conservation of grain; the field men for insurance companies carefully inspected warehouses and elevators for their safety ; our entire legal fraternity gave freely of time and counsel to every military registrant; our Courts gave special protection as affecting the legal rights of every enlisted man and his dependent family, while the newspape:r:s with unbounded generosity gave space, without any financial reward, to the publicity needed for every patriotic endeavor. And yet, all that was accomplished here was insignificant when compared with the services given by those who were in field and camp, in response to the call to arms. Our great State will ever honor those who offered their lives for a great cause and shall ever cherish the memory of the many who are among the heroic dead. For the soldiers, sailors, and nurses who served, for those who sleep in foreign lands, for the many who suffered in hospital or camp! and are shorn of former strength, was, and is dedicated the sincere efforts of us at home..
World War, 1914-1918 -- South Dakota
United States -- Defenses
Military History | United States History
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South Dakota State Council of Defense, "Report of South Dakota State Council of Defense: 1917-1919" (1920). Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Atlases. 10.