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

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NEW YORK, Sunday —I had a most tragic letter from a man the other day. He not only has a great sorrow to bear in the loss of one of his sons in the war, but is adding great bitterness to his sorrow by believing that these losses come only to inconspicuous people. The names in the paper, he says, are never names that he recognizes as prominent persons and he wonders if the sons and daughters of people in high position are kept out of danger zones, or given special protection, while his child had to take the risks of the dangerous work, wherever he was.

I answered his letter. But because I fear that there may be others who think the same thing, and whose sorrow is all the harder to bear because of this bitterness, I want to say to them here that there are high officials in Washington who have suffered these same sorrows since the war began, and many friends of mine had said a final goodbye to sons or husbands who have given their lives in this war.

I can assure everyone that no difference is made in the assignments given. Perhaps the boy who has had great advantages before he went into the service has a greater sense of obligation to bear himself with as much courage and take as many risks as any of those with whom he finds himself.

Nothing can compensate for the loss of those you love, whether they are your children or your friends. If you feel, however, that the cause for which they fight is a just cause, and that you are doing all you can to make the future safer and better for them if they return, and for their fellow human beings, you accept the inevitable and struggle on in the future without the added burden of bitterness.

I left the country this afternoon and came to New York City to see Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., who is still in the hospital after five weeks of serious illness. This evening I am to have a joy which I hope many mothers share with me. Our oldest son was invalided home some months ago from the Southwest Pacific, and is on a two-weeks furlough from hospital care.

I have not seen him for a year and a half, so I look forward to greeting him with his wife this evening with a kind of excitement which I cannot describe. He will be with us for a few days, I hope.

These are days in which one grasps every joyous moment and savors it to the full in payment for all the hours of anxiety which everyone must go through.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 28, 1943

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
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

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.