My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

A military funeral is always very impressive to me, and the little church of St. John, across Lafayette Square from the White House is small enough to give one a peculiarly intimate feeling. The service for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy was very beautiful, and then we followed in the long, slow moving procession across the bridge and into Arlington Cemetery. Mr. Roosevelt was a Colonel in the Marine Corps as well as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy so he was doubly entitled to military honors. The spot chosen by his family for his grave has a beautiful outlook over Washington. Time and time again have I stood in that cemetary since the days of the World War and never can I hear the salute fired and the bugle blowing taps without seeing like a flash, all these little groups of sorrowing people standing by an open grave. There is a kinship among them all and a consolation for them all in that their loved ones have all made some contribution to their country.

My husband and I drove back across the bridge with his two aides, up to the South door of the White House and he went back to work, for work must go on and perhaps that is a saving grace for all those who grieve—always there is work to be done.

I went to lunch with Mrs. Morgenthau and returned to see a young writer of children's books, Miss Marian King, who brought me a charming Dutch story which is soon to appear in book form, and who urged me to come and speak at a boys' school. This is the second invitation of this kind I've had of late and I only wish I could accept for there is nothing I like better than the give and take of talk in a school library or study but days do fill up!

After this conversation, I presented a cup to a high school girl, Miss Lou Dillon from Jefferson, Missouri, who won the cherry pie baking contest for this year. The usher who took me down to present this cup, remarked: "I'm sure she can't make as good a cherry pie as my mother."

The inevitable remark of every man!

E.R.
TMsd 25 February 1936, AERP, FDRL