JUNE 19, 1945
NEW YORK, Monday—I have not been telling you a great deal lately about my activities, and so I would like to go back to last Tuesday evening, when the American Legion, Lafayette Post 37, in Poughkeepsie invited me to come to their regular meeting and receive my husband's citation. He had long been a member of the post and I have long been a member of the auxiliary, but we were away so much that our membership was largely in name.
In speaking of my husband, Sheriff Close said that the members present in that room represented a cross-section of America, and that they had always been very proud of having as a member of their post the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces and the President of our country.
In any Dutchess County audience, one is safe in assuming that political affiliations are largely Republican. But that night there was no question of politics and there was a genuine friendliness which I shall long remember; and I deeply appreciate, as I know my husband would have, their desire to honor him.
I was particularly happy to have an opportunity to talk to some of the mothers and wives afterwards. Many of their men have been in far distant places. Some of the men back in this country are seriously wounded, and two mothers present had lost their sons.
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On Wednesday, at the invitation of the Secretary of the Treasury, I went over to the Air Force Convalescent Center at Pawling, New York, to take part in one of the radio broadcasts for the Seventh War Loan Drive. It was wonderful to see the improvements which have been made at the center since I was there a year ago last February.
The young commanding officer showed us the rooms, which are made much less formal than institutional rooms would ordinarily be. There are many activities—among them a woodworking shop, an art room, a library and, of course, a gymnasium and a well-developed physiotherapy department.
The best part of the broadcast, it seemed to me, was the part in which the men themselves spoke over the air. One young man told me he was leaving the next day to go back to duty, and while he didn't like to talk about his experiences he felt he could do it just once for the good of the other fellows.
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On Thursday evening I went to the meeting of the Elks in Poughkeepsie. They had a dinner which Secretary Morgenthau attended. But since I am not going to parties of any kind now, I preferred to attend just the ceremonies at which they gave me their Medal of Valor and certificate to honor my husband.