DECEMBER 5, 1942
NEW YORK, Friday—Yesterday morning I attended a little ceremony. The Brooklyn Goodwill Welfare League, a group of women who have really done a remarkable piece of work in raising money and helping various war and local charities since the beginning of the war, named an ambulance they bought in memory of my mother-in-law. They would have liked to present it to the President, but it was not possible for him to give up the time, so he asked me to receive it.
The ambulance meets all the standard Army and Navy requirements and will serve shortly in some place where it can be of use to our armed forces.
This group seemed to me particularly active and energetic. I enjoyed very much being with them, and also seeing Mr. Newbold Morris again. He and I were the only speakers present.
From there I went to the College of the City of New York and spoke in the Great Hall to a gathering of students. At City College, they have the largest ROTC of any college in the country. It certainly was an impressive sight looking down on all those boys in uniform. They are so young and their responsibilities are so heavy.
The chairman of the meeting said to me afterwards that he felt it was not fair to say that the future lay in the hands of youth alone, that all of us together will have to carry the burden. I agree with him, of course, and I think we older people have the obligation to look at the future realistically, but it is much harder for us not to be tied to the past. Perhaps, our best function is to evaluate the past and to try to point out what things seem to us to have proved themselves valuable.
There was a small item in the paper this morning which filled me with horror. I noticed yesterday that in many parts of the country work had stopped for a few minutes while people prayed for the Jewish victims of Hitler's cruelty. This morning I saw that, in Poland, it was reported that more than two-thirds of the Jewish population had been massacred.
There seems to be little use in voicing a protest, but somehow one cannot keep still when such horrors are going on. One can only pray that it will dawn upon Hitler that the Lord is not patient forever and that he who puts other people to death by the sword, is often meted out the same fate.
A number of people came to see me in the afternoon. I was glad to hear from Miss Alice Keliher, of some of the plans going forward for child care in New York City.