Address by Burgomaster of Brussels


Address by Burgomaster of Brussels


Max, Adolphe, 1869-1939




1919 June 19


Cary T. Grayson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, Staunton, Virginia




Mr. President

It is with a deep joy and an unspeakable emotion that I appreciate the honour of receiving you to-day in the presence of the King and Queen, in this communal palace which has symbolised thourough the war Belgian resistence to German opression.

You represent in our eyes that noble people whose generous aid has preserved millions of human beings from famine and whose prodigious works has made of the land of the US of America the great storehouse and arsenal of the Entente. But you are above all for us as for the other civilis zated world one of the principal workers for victory, he who in the decisive hour threw the sword of justice on the scales of destiny. You appeared as the champion of Right and Equity, the incarnation of universal consience, the man predestinated who carried in his sands the hopes of Humanity.

Never has histori y shown a sigv ht comparable to the entrance of United States into the m fight of the peoples. The great conquerors of former days listened to the suggestions of pride, seeking the intoxication of triomph of the of power and of glory and working over the victims of their hecatombe.

How different is your attitude. You entered the armed conflict only because right had been violated, because it was necessary to have a decisive loy against crime and guarantees against the renewal of blooming dyagressions. You sought neither gain nor conquests and to assure peace to the wourld you have brought to conclusion a most wonderful effort.

At your call, l fighters came forward in legions. From a people of workers, of business men and of manufacturing ers, you have a made a people of soldiers in whose soul and spirit i of sacrifice equaled the purety of intentions.

The support of the american nation brought closer the hour of victory for which the heroism of the allied troops were preparing us. It precipitated the crombling of the central empires.

Thanks to America, we were not delayed longer in the enjoyment of the return of liberty and it is in your words Mr. President in your messages lucid and ferm stamped which with such noble inspiration that we have found the energy to face as men our wounds and given us the desire to cure them.

Certainly, the task is a heavy one and the side of our different cities, of our country devastated and of our manufacturing plants pillaged will have proved to you its frightnn ing size.We wille undertake it confident in the vitality of our race in its activity and in its spirit of reestablishment, confident in the aid of the allied powers putting our trust above all in him who has made the restauration of Belgium, the reparation of damages and the reestablishment of its sovereignty the necessary gage of the Majesty of the right of peoples.

You have understood Mr. President that no act would contribute so much to confirm in n the eyes of the nations the prestige of the loys laws which they have established to regulate the relations of one with another.In imposing these principes on the world in bringing yourself to assure their saveguard in the discussion of the clauses of peace you have evadinced towards Belgium an ever watchfull sympathy for which we will keep towards you an infinite sympathy. gratitude In joining my voice to all those who exalt the beauty of your work and in reitering to you the hommage with which I may be permitted to join respectusly Mrs Wilson and Miss Wilson confident of your thoughts and of your home joys, I thank you Mr. President for havinl g accorded to the city of Brussels the happy good fortune of acclaming the illustrious chief of State whose word dominating the tumult of battles has proclaimed the supremat cy of right and has made it possible for the people of the world to look forward to a futur of justice and of fraternity.



Max, Adolphe, 1869-1939, “Address by Burgomaster of Brussels,” 1919 June 19, WWP15801, Cary T. Grayson Papers, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.