JUNE 5, 1941
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—The gentle rain is falling upon us again and is greeted with joy by everyone, for it is just the right kind of rain to benefit crops and gardens.
Our drive yesterday was very pleasant and we stopped in Saratoga, N. Y., long enough to assist at the christening of a very sweet baby girl. She never cried at all when the water was poured over her head, which I am sure means that someday she is going to give her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Al William Kresse, a very hectic time. You see, I was brought up on the old superstition that babies must cry the "devil" out of them at their christening, and if they don't it will surely come out later on!
We spent the night with a friend and have now arrived home to face the usual mountains of mail which greet one after two days without any contact with the postman.
I found a rather sad letter from an old friend of the President's, who has always been very fond of the sea. Like many other people, this friend adopted an orphan during the last world war. But I think he must have taken it more seriously than the rest of us, for he has kept in touch with him and really helped him and known him well.
The other day, the "Daily Mail," in London, carried the story of this boy, now grown to manhood and following the sea, meeting his death, as have so many other gallant English officers, on his ship the HMS "Patria." He was a first lieutenant and, when someone had to go below to free a hundred or more men who were trapped, instead of ordering a junior officer to do the job, he went himself and was never seen again, but nearly all the men on board were saved.
The story in itself will be one more tradition told on British ships on the seven seas to educate the young. It is the quotation in a letter from his wife to my husband's old friend which I want to give you. She writes:
"I am convinced that when he met this last trial, he maintained that quiet confidence, that unbreakable courage, and that smile of his that indicated peace of mind and soul. Danger at sea, he had always met without flinching, and this is as we must remember him. For my part, I am proud to have been his wife, even if for only eight years, and if his sons (there are two, five and two years old) grow up as straight and as fine and clean as daddy, I shall be satisfied."
This is a courageous attitude to take, but it must be hard to attain such fortitude of soul. If that is the spirit, however, in which the British face all defeats and still keep such high courage, then we may be sure that in the end, right must triumph over might. If our own courage and determination can be at the same level, perhaps, before long, might will be on the side of right.