"One of the largest camps in France, numbering nine thousand Stevedores, frequently had distinguished visitors, who brought greetings from America. How happily the boys heard them, and with what enthusiastic applause they were welcomed! Especially, they will remember Mr. Ralph W. Tyler, war correspondent for the colored press, who brought greetings from the Secretary of War, and their families back home; also, Mr. Julius Rosenwald, who brought to the boys greetings from the Governors of their states, whom the boys all applauded vigorously. Mr. Rosenwald liked so well what he saw that he donated one thousand francs to be spent among the boys. One American representative especially received prolonged applause and a hearty welcome from the stevedores, and that was Ella Wheeler Wilcox. And this because her words were so helpful and friendly. Moreover, this eminent poetess was able to see something of the heroic and splendid in the Stevedores, which inspired her to sing this martial, song:
We are the Army Stevedores, lusty and Virile and strong;
We, are given the hardest work of the war, and the hours are long;
We handle the heavy boxes and shovel the dirty coal;
While the soldiers and sailors work in the light,
We burrow below like a mole.
But somebody has to do this work, or the soldiers could not fight;
And whatever work is given a man, is good if he does it right.
We are the Army Stevedores and we are volunteers;
We did not wait for the draft to come, and put aside our fears.
We flung them away to the winds of Fate, at the very first call of our land,
And each of us offered a willing heart, and the strength of a brawny hand.
We are the Army Stevedores, and work as we must and may,
The Cross of Honor will never be ours to proudly wear away.
But the men at the front could not be there
And the battles could not be won,
If the Stevedores stopped in their dull routine,
And left their work undone.
Somebody has to do this work;
Be glad that it isn't you!
We are the Army Stevedores; give us our due!---ELLA WHEELER WILCOX.