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

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HYDE PARK—I want to say a word in this column about a very fine citizen who died this week, Mr. Frank Walker. He served in my husband's administration and was primarily responsible for raising the money which built the library at Hyde Park, where my husband's collection has, I hope, proved to be of interest to a great many people.

I served with Mr. Walker on the first delegation to the U.N. and I always thought of him as a calm, wise, resourceful and fine human being. Everyone who knew him will miss him, but to his family and close friends his loss brings great sorrow and, I am sure, a void in life which will be hard to bear. They will remember with gratitude, however, his many public services, and his children can be grateful for the heritage of a fine name to spur them on to their own achievements.

I sometimes think that one of the most valuable contributions that a fine human being makes to society is the challenge left to a younger generation. It is rare that the children of a great man attain the same heights that he did; but it is interesting to note how often in families where there have been one or two outstanding public men there are usually a great many other members of the family who, in whatever sphere of life they are, contribute a considerable amount in the public service. The Adams family, as a whole, is one of the examples of this in our country; and the Roosevelt family, too, on both sides of the political fence have produced many people with a sense of individual responsibility to fulfill whatever public service they had the capacity or opportunity to achieve. I think this challenge to the young is perhaps one of the great inheritances left by men who themselves achieve prominence in some form of public service.

England, of course, has many outstanding examples of whole families who in big or little ways have done their civic duty. In the struggle which we now face to preserve the value of democracy in the world, this sense of individual responsibility is a very important thing to foster.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, September 21, 1959

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.