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

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HYDE PARK, Wednesday—The news from Korea seems a little bit more encouraging and I am sure even such slight improvement lessens the load on people's hearts. It is well to remember, however, that we have not yet really strengthened our forces to the point of having anywhere near an even chance. They are trying to hold the line against a far larger force, still much better equipped.

We have heard little so far about our superlative tanks and other weapons but we are reading about such equipment almost every day appearing on the other side. Until a change comes about in this matter of material and our men are far nearer to being on an equal footing numerically, we should not expect much good news from the front. We can only hope that against such great odds, high morale and youth will make it possible to hold our present position and give us time to build up our strength.

At the end of both World War I and World War II our country returned to normal so quickly that it practically threw away its military strength. In both cases we were given the time to build up our military strength by the valor and sacrifice of those whom we later joined as allies in the fight for freedom. In the Korean War, when the United Nations called for support, we were the ones, apparently, best able to answer the call in spite of the fact that we were no better prepared than we had been in the past. I think we are learning in a rather extravagant fashion what unpreparedness really costs!

We like to feel that a handful of men is all that is needed to gain the victory over hordes of other men. This is a little bit of bravado which sooner or later we are going to have knocked out of us. Pearl Harbor and Bataan should have taught us this lesson as to the need for humility, and certainly we should have learned to have respect for the fighting qualities of the Asiatic. Perhaps we really have learned these lessons, but it isn't always apparent in what we say and do.

Our attitude toward our opponents in this war, and toward many of our allies or would-be allies in the Asiatic area, will have to foster equal justice and mutual respect, and we will have to begin and change some of our long-time prejudices and habits and customs of discrimination within our own country before we can hope for wholehearted cooperation from the people of Asia. This may seem hard to some of our Senators but the facts of life have to be accepted no matter how hard they are.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 10, 1950

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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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.