MAY 31, 1941
HYDE PARK,Friday—We arrived here last night just fifteen minutes after my husband reached home, which shows that there are some advantages to flying, for I left Washington three hours later than he did! He insists, however, that he accomplished a great deal more work on the way, and I haven't a doubt that is true.
Miss Thompson and I motored up from La Guardia Field, and it was quite evident that a holiday crowd was wending its way up the Parkway. We passed one accident, but no one seemed to be seriously hurt. On the whole, I thought the driving was fairly careful, though a few cars whizzed past me at a pretty rapid rate of speed.
I see that Secretary Ickes is suggesting that we have gasless Sundays and universal daylight saving, thereby saving power. The gasless Sundays and less rapid driving might not only save gas and rubber, but a considerable number of human lives. The power, however, if it means fewer lights, will be hard on me, because I have acquired the bad habit of working late at night. When I don't do that, the temptation to read is hard to resist.
A young crescent moon added to the beauty of our drive last night. Though there was no such heavy scent of honeysuckle as greeted us along the Virginia roads last week, the air was filled with country smells and country sounds and I enjoyed every mile of the drive. Today is a beautiful day, so much cooler than Washington that I am almost chilly.
This is not just a holiday, but a day on which we pay particular honor to those who died serving their country in the years gone by. The events of the present time give the day a special significance.
I have often said that I wished we could celebrate on this day, not only our military heroes, but those who served their country in other ways during times of peace. It is, perhaps, harder to keep the spirit of self-sacrifice alive when no great crisis confronts us. A crisis is with us again, however, and I feel sure that all our people will face inconveniences and even sacrifices with a steadfast spirit.
It is often much harder to live than to die, but if you must voluntarily risk death, the cause is important. I do not feel that the sacrifice of those who fought for democracy and believed they would end war in 1918, was in vain. What they stood for awakened in a great many people a new conscience about the meaning of democracy.
They did not, however, reach enough people to prevent the recurrence of some of the things which they hoped to eliminate from human life forever. I hope that the acceptance of responsibility by more people may, perhaps, achieve the ultimate aim for which many lives have been given in the past.