Nation: Changing the Guard

"America," declaimed South Carolina's Representative Mendel Rivers, "is too young to die! Meet your challenge! The tocsin sounds, your country calls. We will walk this road together. Tell us your story, and I give you my word you will not bear this cross alone."

The cross, as the 89th annual conference of the National Guard Association needed no reminding, was a burden of criticism unparalleled in the Guard's 331-year history. And Mendel Rivers' philippic, which was extreme even for the highly emotional chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, brought an enthusiastic ovation from some 1,100 delegates assembled in Washington last week.


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