SEPTEMBER 8, 1944
NEW YORK, Thursday—It is hard to realize how quickly our armies are moving now in Europe, with the drive on both the western and eastern fronts almost matching the German pace four years ago.
One wonders how Hitler faces his people today as he looks back over the years of sacrifice and sorrow which he has brought upon his nation. Sometimes I wonder how the theory of the divinity of the Emperor of Japan will survive defeat. In both cases, men have taken unto themselves an almost unparalleled importance and a right to decide the spiritual lives of their people, but the course of events would seem to prove that that is a disastrous thing to do. Both men must today seem to their people somewhat less than the gods they set themselves up to be. Leaders must have faith in themselves, but their real strength comes when they trust to the guidance of a higher power than their own.
Yesterday I came down from Hyde Park and spent a short time in the morning at the Sydenham Hospital. This hospital is staffed and run without any racial or religious discrimination. As far as I can see, it is an excellent hospital and the atmosphere is one of content and cooperation on every side. Situated at 123rd Street and Manhattan Avenue, it is admirably located for its present purpose and serves a community where it is most needed.
In the afternoon I visited a friend, and tonight I am to speak before the Young Democrats at the National Democratic Club. My speech is not weighing heavily on my mind, for I was told it need only last ten minutes; but then I must be prepared to answer questions. I have a feeling that will be the most difficult part of the evening, as I find young people ask questions which are very much to the point and demand exact answers.
Very soon, in every community in this country, waste paper is going to be collected on a big scale. Much of this collection will be done by young people, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and members of many other organizations. An official marching song, "Paper Troopers," has been written for the drive and approved by the War Production Board. The two composers, Sunny Skylar and Henry Sylvern, are well known to radio fans. Mr. Skylar is only 30, but has composed two of the year's top hit songs, "Besame Mucho" and "Amor." Mr. Sylvern is a noted conductor at the youthful age of 36. The millions of boys and girls enlisted in the drive by the WPB would therefore seem assured of having an outstanding song to help speed their work and to cheer those who collect and turn over their waste paper to them.