APRIL 23, 1945
HYDE PARK, Sunday—When we reached New York City Friday evening we were all fairly weary. But it was almost as touching coming home to New York as it had been leaving Washington, for here again everyone greeted us with real emotion. The porters at the station, the taxi driver, the doorman and the elevator man at the apartment, all visibly controlled their emotion as they told me how personally bereft they felt and how anxious they were to do anything to help us.
I picked up a taxi yesterday afternoon on Fifth Avenue as I left my cousin, Mrs. Henry Parish's house. We hadn't gone a block when the driver turned halfway around and said: "I just can't say what I want to say to you," and then added, after a little while, that he has a boy of seventeen and a half, who would soon be in the armed services. From that he went on to talk of how my husband had never had any time in the White House when he wasn't carrying a big burden for the people. And he hoped that now we would surely get the peace my husband wanted.
It reminded me of a story a woman told me the other day. She went through Walter Reed hospital soon after the news of my husband's death reached the patients. One boy, both of whose legs were off, kept saying: "It just can't be. It just can't be."
Then he turned to her and said: "Once, when some of us amputees were at the White House, Mr. Roosevelt came by, and when some of us gathered around him he said: 'You're luckier than I am, because I have two legs but I can't walk on them, and you are going to have two legs, which you can walk on.' We knew, somehow, from then on we would be all right."
I am realizing day by day how much my husband meant to young people in Washington, to veterans in the service hospitals, to men and women in the services and to youth groups and individuals in other countries. Early this week, for instance, the three Russian delegates to the International Students' Assembly held here in the autumn of 1942, cabled me from Moscow to express their reverence for the man who was at the head of the United States government and whom they had seen at that time. It is the youth of the countries of the world who have to build peace, and so this outpouring of their feeling for my husband makes me confident that they will work in the interests of his objective.