SEPT. 12, 1945
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I have a telegram today which I think is really important. In Chicago, from October 1 to 4, the Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold their 46th annual encampment and they will have a large delegation of World War II veterans.
They tell me that as honor guests there will be representative combat veterans from all the United Nations. These men are to be chosen for exceptional bravery which has already brought them recognition from their governments.
The hope is that bringing together our own men and men from other nations will foster a spirit of international understanding and help us build for future world peace.
I think the most important thing that can be said to veterans of this war, whether of our own country or from other countries, is that in all their deliberations they must think of themselves first as citizens. They have endured the same hardships and dangers, and that will tend to make them believe they are a group apart from the rest of the people in their nations. This war has been fought in large part, however, by all the young men of this generation and, therefore, in meeting the problems of the present and the future they must think primarily as citizens and not merely as veterans.
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And now to lighter matters. This is a gray day and the sky looks as though at any moment it might open up and weep. But in the woods this morning, as I walked Fala, the grayness only seemed to give an added depth to the mysterious feeling that one always has as one walks along a road which is cut through thick underbrush and trees.
Fala kept darting off to chase some wild thing I could not even see and, though my mind had been wandering far from my immediate surroundings, I suddenly became more aware than usual of the beauties that Nature strews all around us.
Along the edge of the road for long stretches there are clumps of a delicate fern-like growth with a little orange-colored flower almost like a tiny slipper. Then there is the golden rod and the blue and white cornflowers which grow in such profusion through the fields at this season.
Finally I saw part of an old log which had been left to rot at the edge of the road. It was covered with the most beautiful fungus just the color of the little orange lizards that go slithering across the road when they hear anyone coming. How grateful we should be who have eyes to see!
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As I drove down to visit Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., yesterday, we passed the first maple tree I've seen with reddening leaves. They are always very beautiful, reminding us that the season I like best in the year—the autumn—is approaching. But that means the end of summer. Though I really enjoy every season of the year, I am always sad to see each one come to an end.