Everybody's Life-Saving Pledge, 1917

The invaluable asset of a nation is the lives of [its] people.
It is its greatest duty to protect those lives.
Therefore its leading motto should be:
Not a life for sacrifice except to save life.

Owing to the wanton sacrifice of human life that is from year to year being made upon the American altars of sport, carelessness and vengeance, I pledge myself:

First. To use all my influence, and exert every effective effort at my command, to prohibit all games, races and contests such as cause the death or serious injury to human beings.

Second. To be exceedingly careful in the use and handling of fire-arms and other weapons, and urge others to be likewise, in order that there shall be no hunting, accidental and "I-didn't-know-it-was-loaded" cases of manslaughter.

Third. To strive for such a righteous administration of law, as well as a high standard of respect for the same, as will insure all accused persons an impartial trial, and fitting punishment for such crimes as they shall be proven to have committed, for the purpose of removing from our nation the inexcusably savage and murderous practice of lynching.

I further pledge myself to assist in the formation of a system of athletics that will develop the human body in the best possible manner, and keep it in good condition, for the purpose of promoting good health and prolonging its useful existence.


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