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

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HYDE PARK, Thursday—I hear people so often ask the question, "What are our boys fighting for in Korea?" that I was delighted to be sent a clipping from a Denver, Colo., newspaper. In this Mr. Wayne C. Williams put the reasons for the struggle in Korea so simply and so plainly that I would like to publicize it as widely as possible.

Mr. Williams is a well-known Denver attorney and writer and student of President Lincoln, having recently published a book on our Civil War President. He entitled his newspaper article, "Lincoln on Korea." It follows:

"What is the cause for which our soldiers are fighting in Korea?

"The issue is historically clear and admits of no doubt.

"Let us use the logic of Lincoln and borrow some of his immortal phrases to describe it for this present generation.

"Out of the travail, suffering and death of two World Wars the free nations of the world which had overthrown the aggressors, Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo, assembled at San Francisco, under the flag of America, framed a charter and brought forth a new international organization called the United Nations, and dedicated to the proposition that all nations are free and equal and are entitled to live in peace and freedom from aggression.

"We are now in the throes of a mighty conflict between the aggressors which have defied the United Nations by invading one of its members, to determine whether this international union or whether any international organization, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

"The brave men struggling in Korea against Russian and Chinese communism are fighting in this noblest of causes and have hallowed that sacred ground far above our power to add or detract.

"It is for us the living to sustain the forces of freedom in the United Nations in their struggle to free the world of aggression, of slavery and to end the brutal assault of the aggressor nations against the least and weakest of the free nations.

"If we can prevail now in this conflict we will have established an organization of free nations that can hereafter stop aggression, and enforce the ideals of liberty through law, to the end that the free and peace-loving peoples of the world may now be free to live their lives in peace and freedom so that war may perish from the earth."

It is really very important that we get to our soldiers fighting in Korea, and to their mothers here at home, a realization of the greatness of the cause which the United Nations has undertaken. It is true that the United States has furnished the greater part of these forces and therefore has carried the greater part of the tragedy that always comes with war, but the war between the States was a tragedy, too, and out of it grew the great and unified United States of today.

Perhaps out of the Korean decision to resist aggression there may come a stronger organization within the United Nations, bound together to oppose aggression and, therefore, to fight for peace.

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, July 20, 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.