IN Ancient Greece, the change of one generation of the Olympic games to the next was symbolized by the passing of a torch, the flame of which was never allowed to die.
We have a ritual in our Academy wherein the president, when he retires, passes on a report of the accomplishments of his presidential year and the new president catches the torch and carries forward the flame in what I hope will be a never ending ascension of our traditions.
My predecessors were men of dedication and experience in our profession, and they accounted for their stewardship in the final rite with words of grandeur and wisdom. Some of you have heard most, if not all, of the presidential addresses that have been given since our Society was founded in Detroit, 35 years ago. Knowing this, I approach this moment with some trepidation and with a humble spirit, but with the conviction that I must say the things to you that are in my heart and mind.
Before I go further, I must acknowledge that my ascension to this highest honor that may come to any pediatrician came unexpectedly because of the passing of our friend and colleague, who had been nominated to serve this year. The passing of Harold Flanagan and Frank Douglass, your last president, was a sad loss to the Academy, for in their lives they practiced the precepts of the Academy and its founding principles. We sincerely memorialize their many contributions to the cause of children's health and their love of humanity.
- Copyright © 1966 by the American Academy of Pediatrics