NOVEMBER 20, 1941
HYDE PARK—I don't know when you are celebrating Thanksgiving. Some people have never changed from the traditional last Thursday in November, but according to the calendar, November 20 is Thanksgiving day, and therefore, I am writing this column for that day.
There is so much for which we in the United States can be thankful. We should join together and say our prayers of thanks with very full hearts. As we look at the rest of the world, we may be thankful that we have been spared the sorrows and the hardships which have come to so many men, women and children.
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True, our own lives have been greatly changed and some people in this country have suffered losses, and are in deep sorrow because some young life has come to an end, either in service training or in actual service work. My heart ached the other day when I read one of my letters which begged me to find out for a broken-hearted father whether his boy was actually on the Reuben James and among the missing, because he had been on board but his name was not listed.
Anxieties and grief there are for many people, and yet on the whole, we can be thankful that our countrymen are waking to their responsibilities, and are accepting whatever the government asks of them. We are producing more and more in the way of defense materials, as the people realize what the real impact of a Hitler victory would mean to us.
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I think each one of us who is able to do even a small service for the country today is thankful for the opportunity.
I like some lines which a friend of mine, Robert Porterfield, the actor who established the Barter Theater in Virginia, has sent me:
"Be frugal, save, and buy defense bonds.
Stop being complacent.
Pray for peace.
Work for peace.
Do your part.
Crush that evil which is set up to destroy our culture and the bill of rights. Thank our forefathers for their stamina and their vision. Realize that we hold the torch of tolerance, for freedom and for peace.
Do your part.
Our philsophy is giving, not getting.
Do your part."
He headed this, "How I can help national defense." And on this Thanksgiving day I think that is the thought I want to leave with you, being thankful, we must "do our part."