FEBRUARY 24, 1943
WASHINGTON, Tuesday,—Yesterday morning, the President, Madame Chiang and I left at about 10:45 and drove first to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where, as a representative of her nation, Madame Chiang laid a wreath. The usual ceremony, the playing of the national anthems and the bugle blowing taps, seemed as impressive to me as ever.
I find it even harder now not to weep when those bugle notes float into the air, and I think of how often they are being heard over the fresh graves of our boys in many parts of the world. We are getting so much sad news these days, both in the loss of ships and of men, that one's emotions are rather close to the surface.
From the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, we drove directly to Mt. Vernon. It was not as restful a drive as I had hoped it might be, because we were surrounded by motorcycles which made so much noise. But, I suppose, that is one of the penalties one pays for representing nations. The air was soft and pleasant and I listened with interest to all that Madame Chiang and the President were talking about.
Once at Mt. Vernon, we drove directly to Washington's tomb, where both my husband's and Madame Chiang's wreaths were laid inside the crypt. By chance, Governor Darden of Virginia happened to be there and he joined us, which was very pleasant. We went up to the house, where Mr. Wall, the curator, took Madame Chiang through the first floor and out on the porch to enjoy the view.
She was interested in Mrs. Washington's tea set, which is quite evidently Chinese porcelain. She liked the lantern in the hall, which she said might be found in a Chinese house. The fields of winter wheat reminded Madame Chiang of China, and she said rather wistfully that the scene might be a Chinese countryside and the house and buildings something like a Chinese compound.
In the afternoon, we had tea with the Vice President and Mrs. Wallace. The members of the Cabinet and their wives were invited. Madame Chiang was present. In the evening, I attended the Democratic National Committee's dinner, which the President addressed over the radio. It seemed to me that his speech was not a partisan one, but addressed to people of all political parties.
This morning I am going to New York to do one or two things which I had promised to do long ago, and I return in the late afternoon.