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


NEW YORK, Friday—It is encouraging to read that things are going better for the United Nations forces in Korea, but I am sure that many of us are thinking day by day of what this war has meant to the people of Korea. South Korea has fought valiantly to remain free, but freedom with devastation all around you must seem like an empty reward.

It is not, of course, for any one of us to say what should be done in Korea. The Allied Chiefs of Staff in the United Nations, our own military authorities and the United Nations Commission must make these final decisions. But it might be useful to voice what I am sure many people in this country hope for.

When the U.N. voted to stop aggression I know we hoped it would mean that there eventually would be held a free vote in the whole of Korea and that the country might be united. Whether that can be accomplished now or whether too much bitterness exists between North and South Korea to do so is impossible for any of us to know. But just as soon as the military position for South Korea is completely established so that there is no longer a chance of China's armies sweeping south again, the U.N. should begin rehabilitation and give an example of what can be done by the united strength of the world organization.

To bring order out of chaos and start people on the way to living normal lives by giving them the necessities of life until they are back on their own feet is essential. This, it seems to me, would be a tangible example of what the real objectives of the U.N. are. The news would spread to North Korea and perhaps eventually we could achieve our real objective of bringing under one government these two portions of a suffering country.

Both North and South Korea are completely devastated and the pitiful refugees are probably the people of both parts of the country. The sooner it is possible for a rehabilitation job to be done the sooner it will be possible to convince the people of China and the Soviet Union that the tales their governments have spread of U.N. and the United States imperialistic designs against China and Russia are utter and complete nonsense. But the government propaganda carries weight just as long as there are no signs of what we really intend to do to help the people of this most unhappy country.

These people have suffered in order that we, through the U.N., might show the world that aggression would not be tolerated anywhere. Because we were not very strong and totally unprepared, it has been a long and uphill battle. But strength is growing in the U.N. and among the free peoples of the world and if we show that our real objective is to aid humanity and that we have the strength in reserve to put down force, I think Korea may prove to be the turning point that would prevent future wars.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 24, 1951

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