OCTOBER 9, 1941
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Yesterday was a day of rapid adjustments! I had planned on spending a short time at the office and taking a morning plane to Philadelphia. I found, however, that just as I was leaving to take the plane, I was told that the flight had been cancelled. I spent an extra hour at the office, attended the Mayor's staff conference and took a noon train for Philadelphia.
At luncheon on the train, I found myself at a table with two young army boys and we were joined shortly by a young Marine who had just finished his Paris Island training and was being sent from Quantico, Virginia, to a new post. The army boys came from Virginia and New Jersey respectively, and had spent some months in camp in the state of Washington, and were now on their way to a New Jersey camp. All three were fine boys and I enjoyed talking to them. The thing which I remember most in retrospect, however, is that as we talked about their lives and need for their present sacrifice, they unanimously agreed that they did not have enough information or enough opportunity to talk about the larger aspects of world affairs as they related to their own individual services.
One of the boys finally said "Well the trouble is, when you get into the army, the training is often the same, day in and day out, and you begin to think that the whole of life centers in what you get to eat, and when you get your pay." I wonder if perhaps one aspect of our officers' training is not being neglected. Should we include a course in the art of encouraging conversation among your associates? Should we remember that in both the German and Russian armies there is a relationship between the officers and their men which is not entirely official in character?
I saw my grandson, Bill Roosevelt, and Mr. and Mrs. Curtin Winsor and little Curtin Winsor, Junior, during the afternoon in Philadelphia, I just missed a glimpse of the new baby and that will have to wait for another visit. Then I went to the office of the Women's Home Defense Association, and finally to the Benjamin Franklin Hotel where the dinner for the Northern Liberties Hospital was held. It was a most inspiring dinner, because the good work which this hospital does seems to have inspired all the people who work for it. The hospital serves a poor part of Philadelphia and everyone concerned is devoted primarily to the relief of suffering wherever it is found, without distinction as to race or creed.
My return plane was cancelled also, and I had to take a train back to Washington which arrived at 2:05 a.m.
This morning was taken up primarily with interviews at the Office of Civilian Defense.