SEPTEMBER 4, 1944
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Labor Day this year should mean more to more people, I think, than ever before, because more people have gone to work outside their homes in order to help the war effort than has ever been the case in our history.
To be sure, management and labor alike have probably not been 100 percent interested only in winning the war. There probably have been heads of industries, and men and women in the ranks of organized labor who worked for the wages they got and what it made possible in their own personal lives, and had little thought of our war needs. But, by and large, the whole picture of production is one of which we can be immensely proud, and on this day we should remember and look with gratitude on the men and women who have made our victories possible.
In one of the papers last week, there was a story written by Master Sergeant Bud Hutton, a former newspaper man, about the potential cleavage that may develop between those who have served in the armed forces and those who have remained at home. His first article saddened me, for several reasons.
First, there is the difficulty, apparent to all of us who think about it, of comprehending what our men in the services have been through, and of facing our own lives at home and knowing what it is that they want us to do while they are gone and when they come back. Then there is the difficulty of understanding what they feel while they are gone, of getting back into touch with them, of having them tell us about their experiences and of telling them something of what we went through.
It is the lucky man "out there" who has had a woman back home to tell him day after day what she has thought and felt, so that she is still part of his life. It is the lucky woman here whose man has told her how he has thought and felt and acted through the months and even years that they have had to be separated.
In his first article, Sergeant Hutton does not try to explain. He states a situation and leaves it there. It would take more than a column to explain many of the things which have come to me and which I have watched during the past months, but I should like to talk with Sergeant Hutton because he is going to give us the man's point of view from "out there." He is right to do it, and we need it.
Still, there is something to be said also for those at home, both men and women. It is a different tale, but it needs to be told and it needs to be understood. If we come out of the years of war with a tremendous number of people—particularly of young people—who have ceased to understand each other, and who each have a feeling that they are misunderstood, it is going to be an unbearable situation.