JUNE 12, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—The Anzac garden celebration yesterday afternoon was a touching ceremony. This little garden on the roof of the British Empire Building, New York City, is in the shadow of the big Radio City tower. A little reflecting pool symbolizes the Pacific Ocean, and on either side are the little gardens of Australia and New Zealand. A very charming statue of two young people, kneeling back to back, symbolizes the youth of the two nations. The garden is to be rededicated each year to those who died in the last war and in this war to preserve freedom throughout the world. Dr. Evatt was there yesterday and Mr. G. S. Cox, First Secretary of the New Zealand legation.
Afterwards, I went over for a few minutes to the club on West 56th Street, which is very homelike and pleasant and must mean a great deal to these boys who are so far away from home.
I was met by an escort at the gate of the train yesterday afternoon and found that Mr. Norman Cousins, who was to go to Norwalk, Conn., with me had been taken ill. So Mr. William White, the son of our old friend, Mr. William Allen White of Kansas, was moderator of the Town Hall forum instead of Mr. Cousins. He performed his duties very well, and the whole evening went on with real interest on everyone's part.
We had a dinner first at the General Putnam Inn, which is one of the many places where Washington is supposed once to have slept. It has a lovely old fireplace and hand hewn beams, and the food was excellent. The host and hostess were very charming. Mrs. Dillard, who had taken charge of the arrangements, had been kind enough to ascertain what my favorite flowers are, so yellow roses named after me, and pansies and lillies-of-the-valley greeted me at every turn. This was a thoughtful attention, which I appreciated and enjoyed very much.
On June 22nd, the Russian War Relief, Incorporated, will observe "National Tribute To Russia Day." This is the day on which the Soviet Union enters the third year of warfare. I know that in many places throughout the country, there will be people gathered together who will want to do honor to the young Russian boys and girls, as well as to older people, who helped to defend that 1800 mile front.
What they have done as one of our allies can never be overestimated. If either China or Russia had given up their fight, our fight and that of Great Britain would have been lengthened by many years, and would have cost us many, many lives, which we hope now can be preserved. On June 22nd, therefore, let us say a prayer of gratitude and a hope that Russia will soon be able to free her own land completely and that we may give all the help she needs.