MAY 3, 1944
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Yesterday, Admiral Brown, General Watson, my daughter and I attended the funeral of Secretary Knox. I know of nothing more impressive than a military funeral. The spot where the Secretary lies in Arlington Cemetery is on the side of the hill, and it was very beautiful there yesterday. The simplicity of the service, the firing of the salute and the playing of taps are always very moving and especially so now when they symbolize for everyone present similar funerals all over the world for people whom we have known and loved.
It must be hard for Mrs. Knox to face the future alone, and yet as we get older our children have homes and responsibilities of their own. No matter how many members of our family we may have, all older people must face loneliness and must make their lives important to the people who are able to be around them. This I am sure Mrs. Knox will do, for she is a courageous person and young in spirit.
I was very sorry that because of the Secretary's death I was not able to attend the luncheon in New York City given by the Union for Democratic Action, to bid their General Secretary, Mr. James Loeb, goodbye and Godspeed as he goes into the Army. I broke a number of engagements this past weekend, but that is the one I really regret having had to break since I was able to put the others off to future dates.
The various Protestant denominations are taking a real interest in postwar planning. The Methodist Church has had a crusade known as the Bishops' Crusade. The Disciples' Church, the Congregational Christian Church, and the Northern Baptists are all observing special days and urging their people to take active part in informing their senators what their feelings are about the basic principles involved and the need for postwar organization.
I think it is a splendid thing for the churches to take this leadership in bringing home to people as individuals and as Christians the need to accept responsibility, not only for a peace treaty, but for an organization within the framework of which our young people can keep building peace in the future. Unless the people in power in our government today establish such machinery there will be no way in which future generations can continue working.
It is very gratifying to know that the Red Cross War Fund has passed by $11,200,000 its minimum quota of $200,000,000. There are several hundred chapters, some of them in big cities, which have not completed their work, so it is safe to say that the people of this country have recognized the fine work done by the Red Cross and have expressed in no uncertain terms their approval and continued support.