NOVEMBER 26, 1947
NEW YORK, Tuesday—The Sunday before Thanksgiving is always the last autumn Sunday when services are held in our old Episcopal Church in Hyde Park. After that, during the winter all services are held in the little chapel where the children usually attend Sunday School. While I think the old church has great charm and is most interesting because of the historic tablets on the walls, still I must confess that the little chapel is a nice cozy place for winter services, and so I am never sorry when we move there. I am glad that the Thanksgiving Day service will be held there.
That will be the day before I fly to Geneva for the meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Commission. I have asked our minister to explain to the congregation the work of the commission and to ask for their prayers for the delegates from various countries who will attend the meeting.
The main objective of that meeting will be to make progress on the drafting of the international bill of human rights which will be submitted to the General Assembly of 1948, we hope. After Geneva, there will be two more sessions dealing with the bill—one of the drafting committee and one more meeting of the Human Rights Commission, in May. Consideration by the various governments and by the Economic and Social Council must also be taken, so there will be many steps before the bill is finally prepared.
Since I feel that this bill is probably one of the things on which future peace must rest, I hope many people throughout the country will be thinking very prayerfully of the work that is being done, for certainly those who sit in these commissions need wisdom and courage far beyond what most of us probably have.
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The city of Dunkirk, N.Y. has apparently gained so much satisfaction from what it was able to do previously through Thanksgiving Day ceremonies in behalf of Dunkirk, France, that this year it is turning its attention to Anzio, Italy. Under the former plan, they forwarded gifts in kind worth around $75,000, and it is interesting to find that the new Anzio drive has resulted in even greater contributions.
Mayor Walter F. Murray has obtained valuable aid from the canneries in the neighborhood. And the city of Erie, Pa., is cooperating, as well as the surrounding villages and towns. All local organizations have been mobilized, and it is expected that very substantial supplies will be shipped to Anzio immediately after Thanksgiving Day.
To many people in this country, Anzio beachhead is a name that they will never forget. Ten percent of Dunkirk's population is of Italian descent, and they have of course been much interested in the present drive.
It seems to me that these personal, friendly gestures from one city to another are aids to the Marshall Plan which cannot be overestimated. And I hope that Dunkirk's example will be followed by many other cities throughout the country, since it is not really necessary to confine these generous gestures to any one particular holiday.