SEPTEMBER 21, 1944
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—A very interesting letter came to me the other day, discussing the question of how we should mark the day when the glad news comes that Germany has been defeated, and that peace has at last come again to war-torn Europe.
My correspondent felt that a wild celebration, such as marked Armistice Day at the end of World War I, would be utterly inappropriate. He pointed out that even if a certain portion of our armed forces are through with fighting in Europe, the war will still be going on over the whole Pacific area. Large numbers of our boys are there now, of course, and some from the European area may be transferred before long.
I think I agree with the gentleman, for my heart would not feel free and joyous. I would be glad, however, that we had reached a milestone for which we had waited so long. Perhaps our bells might ring out. We might say a word of silent prayer and gratitude, and everyone of us might do an extra bit of work to signify our determination to bring the final close of the war as near as possible. My correspondent suggests that everyone, everywhere, give an extra hour of work that day—in the factory, on the farm, in the office and in the home. I do not know how practical such a plan would prove, but there is something each of us can do, and I hope we will feel the need to do it on that day.
I have little sympathy with those who have begun to shift from essential to non-essential jobs. There is still so much needed to fulfill the requirements of war. On the other hand, I do think that we should begin working out the necessary methods whereby every worker will be assured of a job when his war work comes to an end. It is bred in our bones that our first duty is to look after our families. If there is danger that they are going to be left destitute because we may not have work, then it is almost too much to expect of human nature to stick at a job which we know will come to an end when the war emergency is over.
I have been enjoying these last September days, which seem almost perfect after the recent storm. It is in fact hard to believe that nature could ever be anything but kind. The air is soft, the sun is warm and the flowers are still blooming. My loosestrife has completely faded out. But the goldenrod and the black-eyed susans still bloom along the road.