JUNE 4, 1943
NEW YORK, Thursday—I left Washington yesterday afternoon to attend the meeting of the board of the Wiltwyck School for Boys, Inc., in New York City. This is a non-sectarian school for colored and white boys, brought into the Children's Court, either because of their parent's delinquency, or because of some shortcomings of their own.
The Citizens Committee of Harlem has succeeded in having written into the law of New York City, a provision that no childcare institution shall discriminate in the future, either because of race or religion in the free care offered for unfortunate children. This will be a great help in the rehabilitation of many of these youngsters.
It always seems to me more hopeful to work with youths than to wait until they are actually criminals and in prison, where it is far more difficult to accomplish good results.
From the Buxton Country Day School in Short Hills, N.J., a letter has been sent me written by one of their boys. I want to quote it here, because it shows what a great influence the things we do here at home may have in the formation of a youngster's character, and what some of our soldiers expect of us in the future.
"You have a big job to do—home there. The things you do every day at Buxton, talking freely about current affairs, arguing pros and cons of war tactics, learning how a democracy can function, its faults and virtues; these are all a part of what must be kept alive in our nation. Far too many governments and peoples have left that flame to die. For it is you people who have not felt the hate nor seen the destruction of the enemy, it is you who must keep our heads cool at the conclusion of this conflict.
"Talk freely, but with thought, act quickly but with clear minds, do your part, take the responsibility that a democracy needs to survive, and the ultimate victory will be ours.
"I am looking forward to the time when the conflict will cease and the real problems of the world can be met by thought and brains."
I wonder if this boy's confidence will be justified and if we can keep ourselves from hate, and act with cool heads but warm hearts, both with our allies and with our enemies at the close of the war.