MAY 20, 1952
NEW YORK, Monday—Joseph Quittner in one of the Sunday newspaper magazines writes a piece about our citizen-soldier of the free United States of America. One paragraph I like very much says: "Our soldier would probably laugh if you told him his motives were patriotic. He regards his assignment as a dirty job he got stuck with. Yet his record reveals the truest and deepest kind of patriotism and courage."
There are, we are told, about 22,500,000 citizen-soldiers who are either veterans of past wars or actively taking part in Korea in preventing aggression or in training somewhere in this country or at outposts throughout the world guarding our defense. That is a good percentage of our people who have been in some branch of the service, and it adds enormously to our strength.
I wish we could have universal military training during these years which seem so critical. Our military strength is one of the principal factors that will insure the peace of the world. As long as we have to have this military strength it would seem more sensible and more equitable to have it on the basis of universal military training. Then if we ever reach a day when the world is living in peace, we can always change and decide on some other method of keeping up our defenses.
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Last Saturday and Sunday were beautiful in the country. The lilacs were even more fragrant than the week before and the dogwood is at its height. My tulips are still blooming and I picked my first lilies-of-the-valley.
It is still very chilly in Hyde Park, particularly when it rains as it did all morning on Sunday. Fortunately, all Saturday was fine and so was Sunday afternoon.
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The mayor of Vienna, Austria, and his secretary were brought by Dr. and Mrs. Papanek to lunch on Sunday. Troubled as are many other Europeans about our real attitude toward the defense of Europe, the mayor expressed some concern about the possibility of Russia deciding to extend her empire.
He feels that Germany must at all costs rearm and must at least have a sufficient military force to act as the first line of defense.
He also feels that Germany must be allowed to come back industrially, since without a healthy economy in Germany he doubts that the rest of Europe can come back to a firm and healthy economic basis.
Next week I hope to have the Austrian Chancellor as my guest, and I shall be curious to see if he has the same point of view as the mayor. Both of them cannot understand how I could have been so much in Europe and not have gone to Vienna. I must say I find it hard myself to understand.