DECEMBER 18, 1944
WASHINGTON, Sunday—A few days ago I had the pleasure of having my old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Miller, lunch with me. Also with us were Mr. and Mrs. John W. Bracken Jr. and their two young children. The children were such delightful young guests, and I was interested in the poise of the 6-year-old boy. He had some difficulty in keeping up with the grown-ups, but he never complained when his mother wanted him to leave what was unfinished on his plate in order to catch up with the rest of us. I think that was showing great self-control, particularly if he liked his lunch!
On Friday I went to a luncheon given for Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune by the Southern Conference on Human Welfare. The subject was "The Effect of New Voters on the South." It seems to me that the new voters today are going to have a greater effect on the future everywhere. They are the ones who have been through the most gruelling experiences of the war. They are going to know more than anyone else what they want from the future.
I am seeing more and more of the returned veterans. Naturally, they have many different points of view. They come from varying backgrounds, their level of education varies and their experiences have been different, but among them all I find, as a whole, one very interesting similarity. I have yet to talk to a young veteran of this war who does not recognize the fact that unless the things he works for will benefit the country as a whole, they will not benefit him. There is a profound desire among them to continue to serve the country and its people. If they have been overseas, they have a tremendous appreciation of what this country means to the average citizen in the opportunities it affords, and they want to be worthy of the opportunity which is theirs.
I went to New York City late Friday afternoon and returned early this morning, having attended to family matters while there. Today is a quiet day, with a few people at lunch and at supper and the usual afternoon party for the Walter Reed patients.
One of our grandsons is home from school. He looks older and straighter and taller, but as slim as ever, which is more than I can say for myself. This is the first real indication to me that Christmas is approaching. I have had very little feeling that it was really here or would be before long, perhaps because so much of my usual pre-Christmas activity was done very early in an effort to comply with the request for early mailing. Now I find myself with comparatively little to do! Next week I imagine the Christmas spirit will really take hold of me, but as the war drags on it is getting harder and harder for all of us to enjoy any carefree moments.