FEBRUARY 5, 1942
ATLANTA, Wednesday—The meeting last night at the Atlanta Civic Auditorium was big and I hope I succeeded in clarifying some of the things which were in the minds of certain people. One elderly lady was very much worried, because she lived in a house which had only one story and visualized incendiary bombs dropping right on her bed.
This morning I had breakfast with the heads of various women's groups and answered a good many more questions. Georgia has a civilian defense setup which varies in certain ways from the Office of Civilian Defense pattern, but since it is all organized for the same end, I think it will be very easy to adjust.
I stopped at the Civilian Defense Volunteer Office, which is a very active place and running extremely well. I saw our regional director, Mr. Charles H. Murchinson, last evening, and he is taking hold of his new activities with great energy. Miss Judy, who represents the volunteer offices in the whole region, was here this morning and is doing a very good job.
I visited my first filter center and saw how the training was going on there. Finally, I returned to the hotel to discover that the planes are not flying through to Chicago, and we have to take a train. I hope I still shall be able to see some of the Chicago regional civilian defense people tomorrow morning at breakfast in Chicago.
Many of you will remember the very sad loss of our ferry pilots in the plane crash of the airliner somewhere near Las Vegas. The commanding officers, with a deep appreciation of what the loss of these boys meant, not only to their families, but to their country, wrote and wired to the mothers and the wives.
The answer which came from one mother has been sent to me. Since I am not giving her name, I know she will forgive my using it, because of the help it will bring to a great many other people who are suffering as she is.
"Your telegram of sympathy has conveyed to me something of the dignity of my position. To feel that my country is sharing the loss of my son with me is the greatest honor I could ever hope to obtain.
"Surely, I who worship a true God, will not permit the little pagan mothers of Japan to surpass me in courage, service and love of my country. You are great generals and your very greatness makes you feel the need of Divine Guidance. I am sure. May you be given keen insight and vision and wisdom for your heavy task."
Such faith and courage should help all the rest of us.