328 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt
standard were also the attacks made upon him for having wished to dedicate himself to this patriotic enterprise, and one of the most acrimonious debates that ever occurred in the Senate of the United States was on the subject of the amendment to that Army Bill. The Democrats, led by Senator Stone, had much to say about the unfitness of the Colonel. They did not seem to realize how strong was the desire of France to have America's best-known citizen go to her shores at the moment when her morale was at the ebb; nor did they realize, apparently, the promise for the future that there would be in the rapid arrival of a large body of ardent American soldiers, well equipped to tide over the period of waiting before a still larger force could come to the assistance of the Allies.
Senator Hiram Johnson, orator and patriot, made a glowing defense of Colonel Roosevelt in answering Senator Stone. It is interesting to realize at this moment, when former Senator Harding is the President of the United States, that it was he who offered the amendment to the Army Bill, making it possible for Colonel Roosevelt to lead that division into France. Senator Johnson said:
". . . I listened with surprise-indeed, as a senator of the United States, with humiliation-to the remarks of the senior senator from Missouri as he excoriated Theodore Roosevelt and as he held up to scorn and contumely what he termed contemptuously `The Roosevelt Division.' What is it that is asked for The Roosevelt Division? It is asked only by a man who is now really in the twilight of life that he may finally lay down his life for the country that is his. It is only that he asks that he may serve that country, may go forth to battle for his country's rights, and may do all that may be done by a human being on behalf of his nation. My God ! When was it that a nation denied to its sons the right to fight in its behalf ? We have stood should, • to shoulder both sides of this Chamber in this war. To say that Roosevelt desires, for personal ambition and political favor hereafter, to go to war is to