JUNE 1, 1939
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—The parade at the Veteran's Facility in Johnson City, Tenn., yesterday afternoon was touching in many ways. Across from the grandstand sat a group of disabled veterans who could not march. Every time I see the results of past wars, my feeling against war as a method of settling international disputes grows stronger.
Of course, in the World War we were fortunate for, compared with other nations we have few men dead or disabled. In some of the other nations not only practically a whole generation has been killed, but they carry a heavier burden of disabled men and a heavier burden of children who grew up during the war period with physical defects due to starvation.
In the past few weeks I have heard a good many people talk about our war debts. It is perfectly natural for anyone who has loaned money to want it returned. While nations are just an aggregation of individuals, I often wonder if it never occurs to people that a great many persons in this country earned extraordinarily high wages during the war and some made a great deal of money as a result of it. It is true that, perhaps, we might have stayed out of the war altogether and the result might have been the same. Or, given a different outcome, we would have faced some of the things we are facing today a little more quickly. Who knows? One can only conjecture. But, what is done is done. We went into the war and the war came to an end, and we have paid less in some ways than many other nations.
Sometimes I think we might have a little gratitude in our hearts for the fact that our children were not forced to go hungry during those years of the war and that most of the war generation of men is still alive to give of its strength, experience, advice and help to the present generation.
After the parade, we drove through lovely country to the camp which is just being organized for the use of all the young people of Johnson City by the Optimist Club. They have a hundred acres of land have and great possibilities for development. The NYA officials have worked closely with them and they have built a clubhouse and a swimming pool. A group of boys were there yesterday disporting themselves in the water. I have a feeling that if this pool is to be used permanently, they will have to do more work on it, but it seemed to give the youngsters great satisfaction.
They had a short reception on our return to the hotel and after the lecture in the evening they had a dance for the benefit of the club. At this dance some special numbers were given. One little youngster, who has won the prize as the best North Carolina tap dancer, certainly performed with skill.
At 1:00 a.m., we boarded the train and were back in Washington at 11:30 this morning.