USS LSM-148 and USS LSM-149
Navy Yard, Charleston, S. C. Saturday, 8 July 1944 - 2:15 - 2:45 p. m.

REMARKS BY REAR ADMIRAL, JULES JAMES, USN. No sober-thinking American ... who watches his maps of battle areas and carefully digests his daily newspaper and radio broadcasts ... can do more than take a realistic view of the war as it stands today.

Obviously ... we are at a critical period in the prosecution of the world's greatest offensive ... a period when the final outcome is as finely balanced as the pendulum of a clock. One ounce of pressure either way ... figuratively speaking ... can swing the fortunes of battle to a quick and satisfactory conclusion ... or a long and grueling stalemate.

We of the Charleston Navy Yard hold in our hands ... much of the proportionate weight necessary to swing that balance. For we are among those privileged Americans whose job it is to build the necessary materials of war ... whose every ounce of energy and imagination is at once translates into bad news for the Axis.

Let none of us be lulled into dangerous wishful thinking that the war is about over. Such a trend of thought is more than a service to our enemies ... It is a complete disavowal of our duty to the men who at this moment are fighting and dying in Normandy, on Saipan Island and in Italy. True ... for many of then ... especially those among our gallant Second and Fourth Marines ... the war is over. Their job is done ... they have made the supreme sacrifice ... they can do no more.

But for those of us backing them on the homefront ... the fighting has just begun. We must see to it that the millions yet to fight never want for sufficient materials to enable them to match the enemy. Physically and spiritually ... they are- superior to any fighting man who lives today. We must see to it that their tools of war are of the very best.

The responsibility is as much ours today as it was on December 7, 1941 ... when the memory of every American was outraged for generations to come. Recall the surge of emotion that sent you to your task on that fatal day. Then examine your feeling at this very moment ... when the tide of war has at last turned in our favor. If you find any complacency . . . any feeling of satisfaction in a finished job ... any false conclusion in your mind that the war is practically over ... then begin NOW ... to reset your course on a more even keel. The war will not be over until the last gun is taken from the hands of the last German ... the last Jap. Let us make sure that our full energy and enthusiasm is still fighting hard up to the very moment when that is accomplished.

Contributed by Robert Hall
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