APRIL 30, 1942
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Yesterday evening, in New York City, I sat on a panel which inaugurated a series of forum discussions to be carried on through the spring for the benefit of the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. I was was delighted to find my cousin, Mrs. Joseph Alsop, as well as a number of pleasant acquaintances, on the panel. The subject was women's work in the war and an effort was made to cover as many outside activities outside of actual industrial work.
The President's speech was heard over the loudspeaker at the hotel where we assembled and everyone listened eagerly. I think his closing stories about the heroism of some of our men fitted in particularly well with an appeal which one of the speakers made for the USO. She had mentioned the fact that some people wrongly think that the services rendered outside the camps to men of the armed forces are apt to make them "sissies." Somehow, that seems to me a poor word to apply to the average boy in our services. If we needed corroboration on her stand, the President's speech gave it.
These stories are illustrative of hundreds of thousands of equally heroic deeds which are being performed every day in the line of duty. Some of them will never be reported. Others will receive recognition in time. One need never worry about the heroism of the youth of America.
Almost any day, any newspaper can supply you with innumerable acts in civilian life, which require courage, initiative and quick thinking and are the background for heroic deeds.
Miss Thompson and I took the plane back to Washington this morning, and I was here for my press conference at 11:00 o'clock. Miss Katharine Lenroot attended to talk about the Pan-American Child Congress, which will open on May 2nd. I was particularly pleased to hear her say that the advances made since this congress first met were really notable.
Now, at its eighth session, we can fix our minds primarily on the needs of the children in the war. We still can feel that well-established social legislation will carry forward the program and improve the agencies now set up in the different countries on this continent, so that the children will be cared for in peacetime as well as during the war period.
I am sure that everyone has the same feeling that I have, a sense of relief that we are going to be told what we should do in this war period in our homes. It will surely reach down into our lives. Some of us may find some adjustments difficult, but, after all, the adjustment of the boy who leaves his job and goes into the armed services is a far more drastic one.