JULY 20, 1943
SEATTLE, Wash., Monday—I must tell you a little about our day yesterday. It was one of those rare and wonderful days when the atmosphere was so clear that both Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier could be seen in their full grandeur, snow covered and gleaming in the sun. The water was smooth and somewhere around 300 boats, members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, passed in review on Lake Washington.
To me, the most impressive thing was the fact that all the men who worked on these boats gave hours of their time every week, in good weather and bad alike, after they had done their regular jobs, in this public service. They are volunteers and through their work they have freed the regular Coast Guard ships for work near the combat zones. These boats carry a great responsibility, for they patrol the many entrances to harbors where enemy ships could easily come in and lie in safety and operate against this coast and our people.
They tell me that groups like this are functioning on every coast, but I have not seen such a parade before. It certainly gave me a great sense of pride in the initiative and self-sacrifice shown by the people of these neighboring harbor cities. It is good for us who live so much of our time in Washington, D. C., to see first hand what the nation is doing in the war effort.
When you are in the Capitol City you tend to think that everything centers there, that all the work is done there and you forget that Washington is only a center from which ideas and suggestions radiate. It is the people all over the country who have to do the work and the results of their work are reflected in Washington in news of good or bad morale.
Seeing the Olympic Shipyards in Port Angeles and the people of that community was a tremendous inspiration also. Here are three young men, brothers, all putting their best work into an effort to make a real contribution to our shipping facilities. Being older myself, I was interested in meeting the father and mother of this trio. The father, Mr. Miller Freeman, is still an adviser to his sons and I judge a very active one. Mrs. Freeman also seemed to me keenly interested and very helpful in important family arrangements.
Mr. Kemper Freeman has transplanted his whole family from Seattle to Port Angeles, quite an undertaking for his charming, pretty wife with her four small children. Most of the people of Port Angeles attended the launching. The population is some 9,000 and many work in the yards and, therefore, it is not strange that the first launching created great excitement. I hope that all the others will be as successful and that the community spirit will remain as purposeful and as vigorous as it is today.
Mrs. Nan Wood Honeyman, from Portland, Ore., and a young friend of mine, who is in the Army stationed in Portland, are both coming to lunch with us today.
Reading the papers this morning I gathered that we are undertaking an appeal to the Italian people from the people in our country of Italian descent. I hope that our armies may be considered as armies of liberation, but I fear the German military establishment in Italy may still be too strong for this to be possible. At least this appeal may weaken resistance and it may not be so determined nor so bloody, and that may save many young lives.