OCTOBER 18, 1945
NEW YORK, Wednesday—Today the carrier Enterprise came into New York Harbor. Some of her planes soared overhead as she led the other ships which are to anchor in the harbor for the celebration of Navy Day on the 27th. Six times the Japanese claimed to have sunk the Enterprise, yet she is here today after having taken part in 18 of the 22 Pacific battles.
I am sure that everyone's heart will swell with pride as he goes out to look at these ships. Some of them will be visited by many hundreds of people during the next few days, and I imagine even New York City will notice the increase in the number of sailors in our streets. I hope we will take them to our hearts and treat them well.
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Few of us can even imagine what these ships and these men have seen during their service. Some of the men who wear that little "A" on their campaign ribbons know what icy trips across the Atlantic can be like, for they were in the first convoying of supplies to Great Britain in the earliest days of the war. Most of the men who have seen three or four years of service have known not only ice-clad ships, but decks with burning sun and nights when the air was still heavy, even at sea, with the day's heat. They have won supremacy over two great fleets. Their air forces have performed incredible feats of valor and skill. They've prepared landings and given protection to the boys in the little boats, and sailors and airmen alike can demand from us the homage due to a job well done.
We will never know what is it like to see a Kamikaze flying toward us, to hold our breaths and have it land within a hundred feet of our ship at sea, or have it strike with the ensuing explosion. We will never know what the swift attack of the submarine may bring. But we can try to understand when the men want to tell us, and we can remember that questions are not always welcome, since sometimes men would rather forget some of these experiences. Let us give a great welcome to the boys coming home and make them feel that our city belongs to them for the time that they are here.
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Last night I attended the dinner for the workers of the National War Fund drive. The sums that must be collected in New York City sound quite terrifying, and yet we have done it before and I feel sure we will do it again. The chairman said that some people had slammed the door in the face of some of the workers when they came on their unwelcome errand of money collecting. I can hardly believe that, because the goal cannot be obtained unless each one of us gives what we can. That means no slamming of doors, but a decision to sacrifice to carry on the work for our own men and the sufferers in other parts of the world.