Jacob A. Riis (18491914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.
coat, last among them all, who had given up in dumb despair, for how should she ever reach her hero through that struggling crowd, with the engineer even then tooting the signal to start? And I see him leap from the platform and dive into the surging tide like a strong swimmer striking from the shore, make a way through the shouting mob of youngsters clear to where she was on the outskirts looking on hopelessly, seize and shake her hand as if his very heart were in his, and then catch the moving train on a run, while she looked after it, her pale, tear-stained face one big, happy smile. That was Roosevelt, every inch of him, and dont you like him, too?
People laugh a little, sometimes, and poke fun at his race suicide, but to him the children mean home, family, the joy of the young years, and the citizenship of to-morrow, all in one. And I do not think we have yet made out to the full what the ideal of home, held as he holds it, means to us all in a man whose life is avowedly given to public affairs, and whose way has led him clear to the top. After all, we sum up in the one word all that is worth working for and fighting for. With that gone,