Since this is Washington's Birthday, I must tell the truth and admit that the flush of just pride on being elected president of this distinguished surgical society rapidly drained away as the time approached for me to prepare my remarks for you [here] today. This must have been apparent to our distinguished secretary, who has been a friend of long standing, since he never bothered to write for the title of my address. I would rather believe that he was secretly enjoying my dilemma than think that he did not want to detract from the otherwise fine program by inserting what he thought would most certainly be a very "dull title"!
I am not one to quote poetry or converse on a philosophical topic. I must therefore beg your indulgence, since I am going to discuss one of the subjects that is traditional in presidential addresses of surgical societies, namely,