My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK—Yesterday afternoon was a very exciting afternoon for me, because four of the officers from our son's reconnaissance wing in Europe, who have been sent back on business turned up in the late afternoon at our little apartment in New York City, bringing me a letter of very recent date and telling me many things of great interest.

Some young people who have been staying with us had also heard from a pilot friend of theirs whom they had not seen for many years, and when he came in all these returned aviators found they had come back on the same airship.

Our son always writes about his boys as though they really were his responsibility almost as if they were his children. This must sometimes irk them a little, since he is probably not more than ten years older than the youngest among them. There is, of course, even less difference in age with some of the others but the attitude is of extremely fatherly interest and censure, which amuses me greatly. He wrote me to be sure to see that the visiting officers had a place to sleep. I found that they had already taken care of themselves quite satisfactorily. The all seemed happy to spend today up here in the country with us and two young wives have joined them, which is an added pleasure.

Yesterday was a busy day. My husband was touring New England, while I was doing my customary "Saturday before election" rounds in New York City. A luncheon in the Bronx to meet the workers there, a tea in Manhattan presided over by Mrs. William H. Good, our Democratic national committeewoman, and finally a train to Peekskill where I spoke in the evening before coming on to Hyde Park. Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt spoke at our Hyde Park rally but I got there in time to say a few words of greeting to our friends and to take her home with me for the night.

The war seems so much closer to me than the campaign that I have to remind myself very often of what I tell other people—namely, that our business of citizenship is just as important in its way as the gruesome business of war. When you sit night after night and read letters from boys in the service from members of their families at home and realize what this war means in human suffering you have to keep reminding yourself that without the active participation of every citizen in this government there is no chance that we can keep it from happening again.

Most of us live so much in the present that when we read of sorrow we want to do something now to alleviate it. But this mass sorrow that exists for us all can only be prevented by a mass determination to understand the problems of the world and to act wisely as individual citizens in the future.

PNews, NSJ, 9 November 1944