JANUARY 2, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—Last night we gathered at midnight in the President's study and drank the usual toasts. The first one was to the United States, then we added one to the United Nations before we drank our customary toast to absent members of our family and friends.
I think that the second toast is a very significant one, because it means that we really are conscious of this bond between the United Nations. To us it is a permanent bond, one that must keep us together in war and in peace and gradually extend so that it eventually draws all the nations into a circle of friendship.
When the war is over, we must build machinery whereby any difficulties which arise may be adjudicated, but now we can build within ourselves a loyalty to the United Nations ideal and a determination that it shall triumph in the world.
We can face this new year with a greater sense of confidence than we had a year ago, and with a high hope that it may bring us nearer to our ultimate goal. A year ago we knew that we had long months of waiting and work ahead before we could do much to insure victory and peace.
Looking back over the past year, I think we can all feel that in spite of criticism and mistakes, a very great achievement lies behind us. The men who work in our war industries, from the workmen to the management; the men here in Washington, who work in all the branches of the government; can feel that their success has been outstanding. We should never, of course, be so contented that we are complacent. There is always room for hard work and extra striving, but I think we average citizens can feel both confidence and gratitude.
At the beginning of this New Year I want to say one word to the women of the country, with whom I feel a very special bond. We have the same anxieties and the same sense of frustration very often, because we feel we cannot do enough in the great war effort. I have a very great pride in the spirit of the women of this country.
Wherever they are needed, they always meet the full demands made on them, whether these requirements are in the home, in the factory or in any other field of endeavor. None of us can ever be satisfied with ourselves, but we can be proud of the aggregate training which the women of the country are making. I feel that this contribution is growing day by day and will be recognized more fully as this year develops.