AUGUST 16, 1941
HYDE PARK, Friday—We all listened breathlessly yesterday when the radio from England gave us a statement of the peace aims, drawn up by the President and Mr. Winston Churchill. There was nothing new, nothing which I had not heard many times before in conversation about our foreign policy. Yet, stated this way to the people of the world, one felt it was an important moment in the history of world progress. Chairman May, of the Military Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, expressed very well in his short speech which followed Senator Connally's, the feeling which many of us shared.
The radio this morning brought me the news that our two sons, Elliott and Franklin, Jr., were with their father during these last days "somewhere at sea." I knew that Franklin, Jr., had gone off for an undisclosed length of time to these waters, but the last I heard of Elliott was several weeks ago, when he was starting to fly over undisclosed and barren areas, and no word from that time on.
It is foolish to worry, for all of us know that whatever comes we have to meet it. Everybody has to do his job in the world, but just the same that statement on the radio this morning started me off for the rest of the day with a lighter heart.
Yesterday was a very nice day. Mr. Marshall Field came to lunch with us, after which we went over to look at the library before he went to visit the Greenwich House Camp at Lagrangeville, N. Y., which is in this county. There are not many people who take their positions on boards and various organizations as seriously as Mr. Field.
I have grown to know him better through our association on the United States Committee for the Care of European Children, and constantly am impressed with the fact that he gives so much of himself. He never seems to consider that the money he has donated absolves him from a personal responsibility.
There are few young men I know, who would start out for a day in the country and remember that an organization with which they had been long connected, had a boys' camp near the place where they lunched. I am sure that it would have been easy to find many reasons why it was necessary to drive straight back to town, without taking the extra time to see these youngsters in their camp.
I think Mr. Field has learned what I feel is a great lesson for all of us to learn. Namely, that if we really want to know and understand the life of this nation, we must see things with our own eyes, talk to people ourselves, and build up a power of understanding through personal contact.
Last night, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Rockefeller were here for the night, and a few friends were here for dinner. We had a very pleasant evening and talked about hemispheric affairs to our hearts' content.