JULY 5, 1943
WASHINGTON, Sunday—It is interesting that the Fourth of July this year should fall on a Sunday. Perhaps it is a sign that this is a solemn occasion in our United States and we should approach it, not in the usual spirit of national pride for past achievements, but in a prayerful spirit, asking for whatever help may be granted us to meet our present-day problems wisely.
On the war front we have had some successes and a lull in activity of late, but during that time the home front has been particularly active. We realize that war is being waged not only by the soldiers at the front, but in every country by the peoples at home as well. We are struggling to make a pattern at home which will carry us into the postwar period and help us to meet the problems of reconstruction.
As in other trying times in our history, it is easy to pick out men and women in our midst who are thinking solely in terms of their own self-interest and not in terms of their country. Sometimes I think that this war front between personal interests was in the past and is today, almost as bitterly contested as any other battle front throughout the world. Human beings are apt to be short-sighted. What is going to happen to them or to their belongings tomorrow or next week, is so much more real than any vision of what is going to happen to the world two or three years from now!
It may well be that this home front battle of ours in the United States may have a considerable effect, however, upon the military battle. If the world decides that in the United States we deal justly and fairly with all of our citizens, that democracy really means that the will of the people as a whole is translated into action, our strength may seem so invincible that resistance may become weakened. Enemy peoples may even turn more hopefully to the solutions which they see us working out on our domestic front. These solutions may prove to be adaptable to their own ways of life in the future and so they affect their desire to resist in the struggle now going on.
Each one of us as a citizen today looks back with pride on the service and sacrifice of former citizens. We celebrate the Declaration of Independence in which a people formulated their ideas of Liberty, and spoke with words which have become immortal. We may well remember, however, that each new day demands new service and new sacrifice, a different solution to new problems. Perhaps even the forging of a new document which may express the aspirations of a world for freedom as we once expressed the aspirations of a nation on Independence Day.