My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

SEATTLE, Friday —Yesterday we took the early morning ferry over to Bremerton and went through the naval hospital. We saw primarily wards of sick men back from active service. One boy, recommended for a medal of honor, because of his courageous behavior at Dutch Harbor, looked well on the way to full recovery.

He could tell me little of what happened to him, because one minute he had been conscious and the next he had been apparently completely knocked out. Another boy, a bos'n's mate, also recommended for bravery, had been in charge of a gun crew on a merchant ship. There were boys from many ships which will never sail again, but which will never be forgotten in the annals of our Navy.

A good many boys are back from distant parts with ulcers of the stomach, which is partly due to the fact that they have served in parts of the world in which it is difficult to get the kind of food to which they are accustomed. It is also perhaps due to the fact that service today puts men under the kind of nervous tension which is apt to bring on ulcers. I sometimes wonder if we should give our children better preparation in their early years for our modern world.

I was interested to meet one boy whose father, Dr. Mason, I have long known in Washington. So, I shall be able to tell Dr. Mason how his son is progressing.

I saw the officers' quarters this time, which I had not seen on my previous visit. On my way back to the ferry, I stopped at the high school to speak to their assembly for a few minutes. This school, composed so largely of the children of officers and men working in the Navy Yard, naturally has a very high record in war savings drives. They were just starting a new one, and I am sure from the spirit they showed, it will be a great success.

The trip on the ferry is always a beautiful one and the scenery along this coast reminds me of the scenery along the Maine Coast, the same wooded promontories and rocky shores. The climate is milder here, for already in my daughter's garden, the daffodils are all in bloom. Years ago I remember seeing roses in bloom in February in Bremerton Navy Yard.

Anna and John met us on our return. John has been East on business and had seen everyone in Washington nearly a week after I had left home. We spent a few quiet hours together and in the evening the commanders of the Army and Navy forces in this area, Vice Admiral Frank J. Fletcher and Major General Robert L. Lewis, their wives, and Mr. Stanley Donogh, head of Civilian Defense, and Mrs. Donogh, came to dine.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL