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

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HYDE PARK, Monday—The Roosevelt Home Club of Hyde Park held their Memorial Day services as usual at my husband's grave. This year Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson was kind enough to give the address. I liked particularly these words:

“Today this grave and the graves of half a million Americans who died in World War II keep fresh in our minds the price the nation paid to preserve by the sword the peace we could save in no other way. Many of those graves are in foreign lands, but wherever our dead lie will always be to us part of the land they defended so well.”

Later in his speech, Mr. Patterson said: "We have plenty to do right here at home. If we strengthen our national unity, if we accept our world responsibilities without wavering, if we stand as the bulwark of freedom, if we prosper as a people and out of our prosperity extend assistance generously to people less fortunate, no iron curtain, no censorship will hide the facts from the world."

The Secretary closed with these words: "In these times, when the work of healing the wounds of war and building a better future seems hard, he (Franklin D. Roosevelt) would have us bear in mind the lines of the hymn he loved: 'Where duty calls, or danger, be never wanting there!"

It seemed to me a particularly fine address for Memorial Day. There is no question in my mind but what every man who went to World War II wanted permanent peace to be the result, just as had the men who went to World War I. Somehow, when war is over, a reaction always sets in. And people who have been magnificent during the war—willing to make every sacrifice to win the war-suddenly are filled with lethargy and do not want to face the difficult problems of building permanent peace in the world. Permanent peace can certainly not be built by weak people. It takes energy and enthusiasm and a firm belief that success is possible.

* * *

Over the weekend, I have had some old friends and some young friends staying with me. The youngest, little Jonathan Lash, who is nearly 2 years old, did not arrive until Sunday, but he is now ensconced and quite at home.

Saturday afternoon I went over to the Library to receive a very beautiful piece of glass which was the gift of the glass industry of Czechoslovakia. Some of the representatives of these glass works had noticed that there were on exhibition samples of other glass which had been given to my husband but no Czechoslovakian glass, so this gift was the result.

On Sunday afternoon I went to the Library again to receive a portrait of my husband which was done in tiny pieces of fur by Monsieur Crepagny Bertrand and sent over from France. It has small American and French flags crossed under the frame. Such gifts as these are always very touching and I am deeply appreciative.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]
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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, june 3, 1947

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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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.