OCTOBER 18, 1944
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Monday afternoon I had the great pleasure of receiving the new Minister from New Zealand and Mrs. Berendsen. I had met them before in Canberra, Australia, at a lunch given by Prime Minister Curtin, but these lunches are rather formal affairs, and it was pleasant to renew our acquaintance under less formal circumstances.
I was just bidding good-bye to some officials of the Disabled Veterans organization, when I heard a small voice call, "Look, grandmere," from the big staircase. Before I had time to greet my New Zealand guests, a procession descended upon us. In the lead was a black dog, followed very solemnly by a 5-year old boy with a flag twice as big as himself. It was evidently meant to be a very solemn occasion, so we all waited for the procession to pass. Then Minister and Mrs. Berendsen and I had tea and reminisced about their delightful country, which has been so kind and hospitable to our men.
Later, the annual visit paid to the President by the members of the Supreme Court proved to be a very informal and pleasant opportunity for talk with these busy and important gentlemen. As my daughter and Miss Margaret Suckley poured tea, I had a chance to talk to a good many members of the Court.
In the evening, Commander Tyree and his wife dined with me, and then we went to the rally at Constitution Hall for the Community War Fund. I discovered for the first time, though Commander Tyree has been here as Admiral Brown's aide for some time, that I had visited his submarine in Hawaii while he was absent on emergency leave. The moment he spoke of it, I remembered the many tales of adventure clustered around that particular craft, which had a very remarkable record.
Archibald MacLeish presided at the rally, and I do not think there is anyone who can equal him in speaking and writing the English language. His prose sounds like poetry, and his closing words were very stirring. The music was furnished by the U.S. Navy School of Music band and chorus, which is conducted by Lieut. James Thurmond, and is extraordinarily good. A big chorus of young men's voices is always stirring, and it fitted in well with the rest of the exercises.
The British Ambassador spoke for the United Nations, and a Norwegian leader of the underground, who has just come to this country, spoke for the underground movement in Europe. There was a massing of the flags of the United Nations, because the Community War Fund is shared by the various nations. Altogether it was a stirring pageant, and I am sure everyone there went out prepared to work and to give.