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

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LAWTON, Okla.—An Army officer from Pakistan, who is a student at the Artillery and Guided Missle School at nearby Fort Sill, asked me on my visit there the other day how I felt about the fact that great nations, including the United States, often seem to forget they are bound to live up to the resolutions of the United Nations.

I told him that unfortunately this stems from the fact it takes great nations a while to remember that they cannot decide things for themselves but must accept the decision of the majority of all the nations involved.

In this respect, I believe we are improving and gradually learning. But great nations, in order to live up to U.N. resolutions, must accept the responsibility for writing good ones, which means that they must exert leadership in framing them. This can be done only if you actually have policies, are willing to take them into the United Nations and there explain them and fight for them, as well as to accept modifications if they seem better or if they represent the majority's conclusion.

The officer who asked me this thoughtful question, explaining that he understood I was devoting my time to the United Nations, is one of 86 from Allied governments at the Fort Sill school. I found that I have been in 14 of the 21 countries represented.

They were a fine-looking group of young men as they filed past to shake hands. This training must be not only intensive work for them in their military field but an experience in learning new things in many ways about the United States and its people.

I was told that these men are in demand to tell community groups something about their own countries and their religions, so this is a two-way street of learning and teaching—very encouraging, I think.

I was sorry to leave this group. It would have been interesting to have spent more time with them, getting to know them better, but my time is limited.

I flew out here to Lawton. But our trip was a little slow. We circled the airport a long time before we could land in Chicago, as the weather was not good. Then, accompanied by thunderstorms, we proceeded to Tulsa, Okla., and finally, to our great relief, to Oklahoma City. Instead of arriving at 12:30 a.m., we got in at 1:50 a.m.

We were told that there had been heavy rains in the whole area and tornadoes in various parts of the state. We saw no real floods, however, although considerable land was under water.

We spent the night in Oklahoma City before driving here. This is the place in Oklahoma where our field secretary for the American Association for the United Nations, Miss Morton, has found the most hopeful response to our work.

After our arrival, I held a press conference and then we had a meeting of representatives from 17 places in the state and of organizations interested in the United Nations. Later we drove out to Fort Sill, where we were luncheon guests at the officers' club and went to a meeting to explain the organization of the A.A.U.N.


(Copyright, 1957, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Lawton (Okla., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 26, 1957

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