The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Friday—Now that I have been confirmed by the Senate, I can say how deeply honored I feel that President Truman has named me one of the delegates to the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization. It is an honor, but also a very great responsibility. I know it has come to me largely because my husband laid the foundation for this Organization through which we all hope to build world peace.

In many ways I am sure I will find much to learn; but all of life is a constant education. Some things I can take to this first meeting—a sincere desire to understand the problems of the rest of the world and our relationship to them; a real goodwill for all peoples throughout the world; a hope that I shall be able to build a sense of personal trust and friendship with my co-workers, for without that type of understanding our work would be doubly difficult.

This first meeting, I imagine, will be largely concerned with organization and the choice of a site within this country as a permanent home.

* * *

Being the only woman delegate from this country, I feel a great responsibility, also, to the women of my own country. In other lands women have gone with their men into the fighting forces. Here we have more nearly followed the traditional pattern of working and waiting at home.

To be sure, some of our work was done outside the home in places which the mothers and wives of earlier days never would have dreamed could be a woman's working sphere. But fundamentally we were doing what we could to help our men win the war. We were striving to give them, when they returned, the kind of country and the kind of home they had dreamed of and sometimes gave even their lives to preserve.

I feel a great responsibility to the youth who fought the war. When they were not called upon to make the supreme sacrifice, they gave years of their lives which most of them would rather have spent in building up their personal futures. Some of them will carry handicaps incurred in fighting the war, throughout the rest of their lives. Every one of us has a deep and solemn obligation to them which we should fulfill by giving all that we are capable of giving to the making of the peace so they can feel that the maximum good has come from their sacrifice.

* * *

Willy-nilly, everyone of us cares more for his own country than for any other. That is human nature. We love the bit of land where we have grown to maturity and known the joys and sorrows of life. The time has come however when we must recognize that our mutual devotion to our own land must never blind us to the good of all lands and of all peoples.

In the end, as Wendell Willkie said, we are "One World" and that which injures any one of us, injures all of us. Only by remembering this will we finally have a chance to build a lasting peace.

I am sure in President Truman's heart, as in that of everyone of our delegates, is the prayer that in this coming year, we may make measurable strides towards goodwill and peace on earth.

E. R.


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 22, 1945

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.