My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Tuesday—In spite of rather gray looking skies, I left Washington yesterday afternoon, hoping to land in New York about 6:45. But we came down at an unfamiliar airport, and I found we were in Philadelphia and the flight was cancelled. I drove to the station and caught a train almost immediately and reached my house at 9:15, so I might just as well have taken a 5:00 o'clock train out of Washington.

I talked to some Army boys on the way over, who had just had their orders. One youngster in a sailor's uniform sat just a few seats ahead of me. When he turned around, I felt sure he must have added a few years to his age, for he looked fourteen instead of eighteen. They tell me that the boys coming over here from England to get their training in flying, are very young, ranging from 16 to twenty. Some of our own pilots are 20 to twenty-two. It is a curious thing to me, that older people seem so often to accept with complacency these young armies. I rebel, and yet I know an army must be young.

I have a great desire to see our fighting forces organized in the most efficient possible way, by putting each individual in the place where he will serve best, because only in that way shall we shorten the horrible period through which we are living. I want to see everyone in civilian life at the present time, doing the job he is best able to do, and doing it as well as he possibly can.

If women are able and skillful enough to go into factories, I hope they will. I hope that all men, young or old, who work in factories in defense industries, will do the most efficient job that can be done. Whatever the jobs are that people are doing, I want them done by the right people and in the best possible way, because that is the way to win this war.

Every day that goes on, means more young men in every land are dying. I am confident that our cause is just, but I want to see youth free again to fight a different kind of war, a war to find a way by which we all live more decently and happily together.

All of us know that, at the end of this war, that other war has to be fought, and we shall need youth to fight it. I hope that, in every factory today, and in every service camp, young people are discussing the kind of a world they intend to build after the fighting is over.

It may not be the kind of a world in which my generation has lived, but if it achieves the ends for which we are fighting: real freedom for every individual regardless of race, creed or color, economic freedom for every individual who is willing to put his capacities to work of some kind, then these horrible days will have obtained good results. We have to live through them and I accept the necessity, but at the same time I hope we do our share in civilian life to prepare for a different and better future world.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL