"America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone."
- Private Martin A. TreptowMartin Treptow worked as a barber in Iowa, until he decided to risk everything for his country by enlisting in the Army in 1917. Later that year, he was sent overseas to France with the famous Rainbow Division (so named because of how it contained soldiers from all across the country) to fight for the Allies in World War I.
Private Treptow was killed on July 29, 1918, while relaying a message amid heavy fire -- giving his life, like so many others, for the Allied cause of freedom.
We're told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading "My Pledge," he had written these words: "America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone."
The crisis we are facing today .... [requires] our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God's help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.
And, after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans.
- President Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address (1981)
Private Treptow's moving vow to preserve and protect the United States above himself is undoubted evidence of his patriotism and heroism -- a pure, loyal, and selfless patriotism that we should all revere and attempt to imitate.