My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—Yesterday morning, with my grandchildren and Miss Thompson, I went over to the big house to meet General Eisenhower. He had sent us word that he was flying up from Washington to lay a wreath on my husband's grave, but the weather was stormy last night and for a time we wondered whether he would really get here. He arrived just before noon, however, with Mrs. Eisenhower and their son, Lieutenant Eisenhower, who recently graduated from West Point. It was Mrs. Eisenhower's first flight and I thought her very courageous, since I have often found the flying weather bad between here and Washington.

I am always afraid that the military, who have a dreadful habit of being exactly on time, will arrive before I do on any ceremonial occasion, and I went at least half an hour early to the big house. With several active youngsters whom I was trying to keep moderately clean, a half hour seemed a very long period of time; but finally we heard the sirens and saw the state and Poughkeepsie city police sweeping down the drive at the head of three or four cars. That was a sight which the children really enjoyed!

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A great number of photographers and some newspaper men had arrived earlier through arrangements made with West Point, and so the general and I went into the garden and stood where he placed his wreath.

I think Fala was less disturbed by the photographers than the children. He thought he had just turned back a few months and was going through some of his past experiences. Before we left the photographers, my youngest grandson was telling me loudly and in no uncertain terms that he was tired and wanted his lunch. We went back to the cottage and the desire for food was soon satisfied.

Since the grave is not yet open to the public, it always takes considerable arranging for any of these special visits. In the case of General Eisenhower, of course, the small guard left to watch over the grave was all on duty, and everyone was checked both as we came in and went out.

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Yesterday afternoon the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs, and chairman of the delegation at the San Francisco conference, also came up to pay his respects and to lay a wreath on the grave. This meant that the guard, which ordinarily has only the unpleasant duty of saying "no" to people who hopefully inquire whether the grounds are open to the public, had two ceremonial visitors.

I like to meet all of these kind friends who come to pay their respects to my husband's memory, although sometimes it is not possible. I was particularly happy, however, to be there yesterday.

Late in the afternoon I had to come to New York for some business engagements, but I will be home again tonight.

E. R.

TMs, AERP, FDRL