JUNE 2, 1942
WASHINGTON, Monday—On Saturday morning I went over to Hains Point at the invitation of Captain Kentor to visit the headquarters of the 71st Coast Artillery. This regiment guards the White House and neighboring public buildings. I was particularly interested in the classification section under Captain Kentor. Some days ago I told you about plans which are made in the central office. Here they are put to work with enthusiasm and intelligence.
Captain Kentor knows his men, their I.Q.'s, education, former occupation, hobbies and aspirations. There is a real effort to put a round peg into a round hole, and at the same time to provide the right people where they are needed in this new citizens' army of ours.
Colonel Wyant asked me to come back to see some of the other activities of the regiment and I am planning to do so as soon as possible. There is a Red Cross recreation room maintained at this post, which evidently does a very grand piece of work. It is well used and must be a help to the officers in keeping up the morale of the men.
In the afternoon, I went with the President when he reviewed the Memorial Parade. It was most interesting to me because so many new types of equipment were shown. The first soldiers to pass were the parachute soldiers and they were enthusiasticallyapplauded. I doubt whether the interest in them made up for the heat which they had to endure, with helmets buttoned and light but lined uniforms! The day was warm enough in any case, and marching in the sun with full equipment must have been a test of training for every unit.
All over the country Memorial Day was celebrated this year, but in the hearts of our citizens there must have been very different sensations from those experienced in former years. I am sure that, by and large, we vowed again to come victorious in this struggle, determined to bear with fortitude whatever has to be borne to achieve a victory. More people than ever before probably decided to be prepared to secure a peaceful world as well. Mrs. Pearl Buck's Sunday article deals with one phase of this preparation and I hope will be widely read.