JUNE 16, 1942
WASHINGTON, Monday—The Flag Day ceremony in the State Dining Room at the White House yesterday afternoon was very impressive. The flags of the United Nations were placed in a circle and underneath each flag stood the representative of his country. At the table, in the middle of the room, sat the President and the Secretary of State with the Mexican Ambassador and President Quezon of the Philippines, who were joining the United Nations. The President read Mr. Stephen Benet's beautiful prayer, which I am giving in part in the hope that all will cut it out and keep it with them.
"God of the free, we pledge our lives and hearts today to the cause of all free mankind.
"Grant us victory over the tyrants who would enslave all free men and nations. Grant us faith and understanding to cherish all those who fight for freedom as if they were our brothers. Grant us brotherhood in hope and union, not only for the space of this bitter war, but for the days to come which shall and must unite all the children of the earth.
"Our earth is but a small star in the great universe. Yet, of it, we can make if we choose, a planet unvexed by war, untroubled by hunger or fear, undivided by senseless distinctions of race, color or theory. Grant us that courage and foreseeing to begin this task today so that our children and our children's children may be proud of the name of man.
"Yet, most of all, grant us brotherhood, not only for this day but for all our years—a brotherhood not of words, but of acts and deeds. We are all of us children of earth—grant us that simple knowledge. If our brothers are oppressed, then we are oppressed. If they hunger, we hunger. If their freedom is taken away, our freedom is not secure. Grant us a common faith that man shall know bread and peace—that he shall know justice and righteousness, freedom and security, an equal opportunity and an equal chance to do his best, not only in our own lands, but throughout the world. And in that faith let us march toward the clean world our hands can make. Amen."