JULY 3, 1945
HYDE PARK, Monday—Last week I went to the office of the American Federation for the Blind to receive the resolution which their board had passed and which Miss Helen Keller wanted to present to me personally. It was a resolution commemorating my husband's services as honorary chairman. As I stood and listened to Miss Keller speak, I thought how wonderfully both Miss Keller and my husband typified the triumph over physical handicap.
Many of you may not know that Miss Keller, with her faithful friend and interpreter, has visited a number of our service hospitals. Some people felt that she might discourage our wounded men. Instead of that, the men recognized the greatness of her personality and the serene and courageous spirit which has made of her life a rich and full existence. She carried comfort to the men who were facing their own handicaps and trying to find the courage to build normal lives in spite of them.
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I always found in hospitals that the knowledge among the men that my husband, who was their Commander in Chief and the President of the United States, nevertheless could not walk gave to every handicapped man a sense of greater determination in his own fight back to useful activity.
The presentation was a moving little ceremony and I was grateful to the board and to Miss Keller, for, in spite of the fact that my husband had little time to give to many of his interests, it still gave him a great satisfaction to be associated with their work. He managed to read their reports and to know what was going on, no matter how heavy were the cares of state.
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I also had a talk last week with Mrs. Lafell Dickinson, president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, and Judge Anna M. Kross, chairman of the federation's newly-formed Youth Conservation Committee for the study and mobilization of the forces dealing with children in the various communities of our country. In the autumn they will hold institutes, in various sections of the country, where people active both in government and in private organizations for the development of opportunities for children will come together and discuss how these can be improved.
I have such great faith in what can be done, once people really know what are the actual conditions and the resources which are available in their communities, that I think we could create in this country a far healthier environment for the children of this generation. I look with great hope on the interest of the Federation of Women's Clubs, which represents such a vast number of women throughout the country. For, in the long run, women are the ones who really know what the children need, and they enlist the help of the men.