JANUARY 18, 1944
WASHINGTON, Monday—Yesterday we had several people at lunch with us. At seven o'clock, I went to speak at a regular Sunday evening supper group at St. John's Church. After that I joined other members of our family at the Attorney General and Mrs. Biddle's house to hear Mr. George Biddle tell of his experiences in the European Theatre of War.
Today I am on my way to New Brunswick, N.J., where I am to speak first for the New Jersey College for Women, and in the evening, I will speak for the Fourth War Loan Drive at a meeting in the village which the Hillel Foundation of Rutgers University has been instrumental in arranging. I shall get into New York City very late this evening, but as I have a few people to see there tomorrow morning, it seemed better to go on tonight than to stay in New Brunswick.
I was much interested in talking to Miss Mary Pickford the other day when she told me that she had adopted two children, a seven year old boy and a baby girl who is now seventeen months old. I had just received a letter in the mail which drew to my attention the fact that while many people were willing to adopt babies, or children under three or four years old, the institutions found it very difficult to place children over six. The writer asked me if I would not suggest to people who have lost loved ones in this war, that it would be a great advantage if they would take a child into their homes, and bring him up in memory of the one who is not returning.
It seems to me a wonderful idea, although I realize that when people have lost members of the family who are grown, it may be almost impossible to go back to the days and conditions of life in which they were prepared to bring up youngsters. Even taking in a child in his teens means adjusting a household to many things which may have been completely abandoned after one's own children have grown up. But there may be other families where young people are still part of the household, and I imagine that it might ease the hearts of some mothers and fathers to feel that in memory of the child they loved, they are giving another child the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of a real home.
My correspondent is a man, a businessman evidently, from Pittsburgh, Pa. I want to quote one sentence of his letter here: "The Gold Star which is the symbol of death and tragedy could be replaced by a silver one which will be the symbol of life and happiness." Real happiness and a new life for some child who must feel lonely and abandoned.