The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Thursday—Our plane was a little late yesterday afternoon. I reached the Red Cross ceremony, where the six nurses who escaped from Corregidor were being decorated, just as their citations were being read. It was to me a very moving ceremony, not only because of the knowledge of what these particular nurses had gone through, but because of the thought of all the others who are serving on ships and shore throughout the world.

I think my admiration and sympathy goes out most warmly to those who, with their patients, are today prisoners of war. It must take a tremendous amount of courage to stay on your job, not knowing whether you will be allowed to go on working, or whether you will be forced to stand idly by and see your patients neglected.

The story in the paper this morning, describing what one nurse told of the first bombing on December the 7th, does not seem so extraordinary to me. I think it is easier to stand up to a situation where you have to do something every minute, than the weeks in concentration camps with the uncertainty of how you will be treated which must be very difficult to face.

I felt a great desire to express to these nurses, and through them to all the other nurses in the services, the appreciation of the women of this country for the work which they are doing. As a woman, I feel proud and very humble before them, and am tremendously grateful for the care which they are able to give to the men in the armed forces.

I am sure that the standard which these nurses have set will be followed by all those who find themselves in similarly difficult situations, and they must inspire many young women to enter this service that offers such great opportunities for serving their country and humanity.

I happened to notice a paragraph in a newspaper article which appeared some time ago and I have thought of it often since. The subject was the United Nations "failure to prepare against war while at peace." Then the question was raised as to whether we might be making the other mistake of not preparing for the peace while we are prosecuting the war.

There is no question in my mind but that everything we do in a war is a preparation for future peace. One of the most important things we can do is to realize that our actions today have a bearing on the future. The way these captured nurses act and the way they are treated will undoubtedly be a factor in the future peace.



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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 3, 1942

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.