MAY 29, 1944
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., Sunday—Friday morning, in New York City, at the request of the Junior League, I attended a sponsoring ceremony for the ships which are outfitted at Pier 42. These are amphibious landing craft of new type, and the Junior League has taken five of them as its own. This means that the League members will not only write to the officers and men and send them packages from time to time, but they will also contact the men's families and become a part of the great Navy family.
The Daughters of the American Revolution sponsored a ship for every state, and various patriotic organizations are taking over each ship as it goes out. The ceremony was a moving one, and I was glad to have the chance to shake hands with so many of the men.
The ships are not large, and the officers and men live in crowded quarters. I think the long trips which they must take to reach their destinations require a good deal of fortitude. However, they probably build up the same kind of spirit which the submarine crews have. I understand this amphibious service feels itself very important, which it most certainly is, for without it, it would be impossible to carry on our wars in Europe and in the Pacific.
While I was in New York City, I travelled up to the Medical Center at 168th Street one morning, to see a friend who is ill. I want to say a good word here about the kindness of people who travel in the subway. In the subway that morning, two or three people recognized me and came over to shake hands with me or to say a kind word. When I got off the subway, I was a little doubtful about the way to reach the street, and again someone came forward and gave me the right directions. Americans are a kindly people. They want to be helpful, and the quality is an endearing one and warms the heart.
The country looks more wonderful each time I come up here. My spirea hedge is in full bloom, and the dogwood is still gleaming white in the woods. A friend, with her three youngsters, is staying with us, and we went over to investigate new exhibits in the President's library yesterday morning. They found much of interest, and when the war is over, and young and old can motor again, I think many children are going to spend interesting and instructive hours there.
The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis has just begun to consider a permanent woman's division, because the members find that there is a need for volunteers to work with the county chapters all through the year. This is especially important in summer, when there may be infantile paralysis epidemics. I think this will add enormously to the interest that people have in the Foundation's work, because it will mean that in working with their local chapters, they will actually come in contact with the cases benefitting from the funds which are raised in the drive every year.