OCTOBER 26, 1944
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Mrs. Jonathan Wainwright, wife of Lt.General Wainwright, was one of my luncheon guests yesterday, and I could not help feeling the greatest admiration for her courage. I want to share with you my feeling, because I think it is an inspiration to all women in this war.
In the two and a half years since her husband was taken prisoner by the Japanese in the Philippines, she has had only seven of those 25-word printed letters from him. He, in turn, has never had a word from home. Yet she is concerned about the relatives of the other men in his command, she speaks on the radio, and she does all she can, not only to keep her own courage up, but to help the other women who are going through with her the ordeal of waiting until liberation brings them an answer as to where and how their men have stood these years of imprisonment.
Mrs. George Ashton Oldham, wife of the Bishop of Albany, New York, lunched with me also. Her husband, the Bishop, is in London at the present time, and she hopes he will have an opportunity to visit our troops in other theatres of the war. Mrs. Oldham described the hurried preparations for his trip, and how the various "shots," which had to be concentrated in a short time, gave him two sore arms and a high temperature, in spite of which he had to shop and pack and leave! Many other people will remember the same conditions under which they have started off for far distant parts.
In the afternoon I spent some time going through the wards at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. I was chiefly in the orthopaedic and surgical wards, and will visit the others the next time I have a free afternoon here. Not all the cases were overseas casualties. There were in addition a number of men suffering from injuries sustained in automobiles, airplanes and while playing football. Many of the men are getting well and will have no serious after-effects, and that is the important thing which makes me happy.
At tea time a very interesting Hungarian woman, Mrs. Cornelia St. George, came to see me at the request of Mrs. Thomas F. McAllister, at one time the vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee. I found Mrs. St. George chiefly interested in how we could promote better understanding in the future among young people of all nations. She feels much can be done with children by revising our history books, and by creating among the young people of the world a desire for goodwill rather than hatred and fear.