My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Sunday—Friday night in Washington I met with the civilian employees of the adjutant general's office. They have organized a series of " sings," at which they get a chance to meet each other and sing together. Judging by what I heard in the few minutes I was waiting to go on the platform, they are going to sing very well.

I am sure it must be hard for many of the men and women who work here in Washington under very uncomfortable conditions and at rather low Government salaries, to realize that they are making a real contribution to the war effort and are closely tied to the actual soldiers at the front.

Of course, to us who look on, it is plain that without the smooth functioning of the offices in Washington the whole machine of war would go to pieces. Take just one little thing. If the families were not notified when their boys were in hospitals, if the records were not kept so that when the boys are transferred from one hospital to another and families notified of the boy's whereabouts, people all over this country would be deeply disturbed.

I am conscious of this because in certain cases where things do go wrong, people write to try to remedy the difficulty. Sometimes a boy has been moved to a new hospital and his records haven't followed him. Therefore, he is not being paid, or his family has lost track of him and he isn't getting his mail.

The Government employees here in Washington who keep these files going and make up these endless lists, and wonder whether anything they do is of any importance in the war should really know that the sacrifices they make in order to do their jobs here have a direct bearing on the way the war is being carried on.

Yesterday morning I went to American University, which has been taken over by the Red Cross for its volunteer services educational program. It was interesting to go over the school and to listen for a few minutes to their various classes and then to see all the students and to realize how eagerly these men and women are looking forward to their service in the country and overseas.

The afternoon was filled with appointments, at half hour intervals. In the evening Gov. and Mrs. Stainback, who are here from Honolulu, dined with me, and I took them to see "Sons o' Fun." This is rather a rowdy show, but it certainly provides the audience with plenty of amusement. Everyone around me seemed to be in gales of laughter and almost everyone is benefited by a good laugh these days.

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 8, 1943

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Syracuse Herald-Journal, , November 8, 1943

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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Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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Transcription created from a published My Day column instance. Syracuse Herald-Journal, November 8, 1943, page 14