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

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HYDE PARK, Monday—I've been driving a car 35 miles an hour to break it in and I can see the looks of rage as people get held up behind me and can't get by because of the stream of cars coming in the other direction!

On Sunday after church we drove up for a picnic lunch with some friends in Claverack, New York. I knew it would take us a long time so I made no rash promises and said I would probably arrive between 1:30 and 2:00. I arrived at 1:30 exactly, but I shall be glad when I've driven my car 500 miles and can move up to 45 or 50 for I can positively feel indignation in the glances of the passing motorists and I never realized before how many cars are on the road. They seem to go by me in a steady stream!

We had a real rain this Sunday and I know there is much rejoicing in the hearts of the farmers. Since I returned, almost everyone has told me how little rain we have had through the summer. Nevertheless, I'm enjoying my garden for somehow they've managed to hold it back so that I would have roses blooming in the month of August, which I know is no easy thing to accomplish.

We have signed a security pact with Korea and one cannot help smiling at the idea of Korea coming to the aid of the United States if anyone should attack us, but at the moment the important thing, from my point of view, is what we actually do in helping to rehabilitate South Korea and what the United Nations actually accomplished in obtaining a unified Korea.

If just South Korea is rehabilitated, I feel great bitterness will hold up in the future among the North Koreans. As a people they have probably suffered as much in certain areas as have the South Koreans and while they were to blame for the start of the war they're undoubtedly going to forget that, and feel that favoritism is being shown. I wish very much that as soon as possible some kind of unity could be established which would permit rehabilitation to go on throughout the country.

This might well be the best way of proving not only the magnanimity of democracies but also the fact that under democratic auspices certain things are done which might never be done under any other form of government.

I understand that the Secretary of State's remark that soldiers might be used in rehabilitation work at first led people to believe that they might be used as working battalions, which led to consternation in the Pentagon. Now it is being cleared up and I see that the Koreans have announced that while they would never accept labor battalions, they would be glad to accept technical assistance offered by people in our armed services. I imagine this could also be offered by the U.N.

But while it is going to be possible to help rehabilitate the land, to start industries and to get people to work, there is one thing that will weigh heavily on the people in Korea for a long time. The loss of many men, the misery of not only men and women but of children. No help can replace human beings. There are going to be not only orphanages but places where children will have to be cared for perhaps throughout their entire lives and that is a burden for any country. I hope that many nations will come to the aid of Korea and will not forget that they have to carry a long continuing burden which no nation can carry alone.

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 11, 1953

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.