JULY 14, 1945
HYDE PARK, Friday—One day last week I went down to Orange, New Jersey, to see my cousin, Mrs. Henry Parish, who has not been very well. A charming looking woman spoke to me on the tube and, when I got into the train, came and sat beside me. It was a heartwarming experience, because she said she had long wanted to have an opportunity to talk with me. Once before she had spoken to me in a New York shop, but that was not exactly an opportunity for conversation. She told me how much my husband's leadership had meant in the past few years, and we talked of the things that must be done by each one of us as individuals if we hope for peace in the world of the future.
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She felt, as I do, that unless we come to look upon our neighbors in this country, of every race and creed, as brothers—different from ourselves, to be sure, but fundamentally the same kind of human beings—we can never hope to live together in the world peacefully. We have to learn that we are brothers of one great human family, who make up the people of the world which we know. This is perhaps the great moral change that faces this generation.
As you read your Bible I think it becomes increasingly clear that there were always good and bad people in every group, and that the lessons taught were not the segregation of groups of people, but the segregation of evil. That, it seems to me, is the lesson we had better learn all over again. The fight in the world is against evil, and not against people because of their difference in race or creed.
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On my way back I saw a young merchant marine boy, standing on the platform, who looked somewhat familiar. I smiled at him as I always do when I see young men in uniform. He came up to me and said: "You may not remember me, Mrs. Roosevelt; but I last met you eight years ago at the President's birthday ball in Alexandria, Virginia." I remembered the night very well, for it was one of the nights when we had bad weather. It was snowy and icy, and visiting all the birthday balls in and around the District of Columbia was no easy job. I was not only worried about our getting around, but I wondered what was happening to all of the movie stars who were being taken from place to place. However, apparently the whole evening went off with the usual success which the Washington committee has prided itself on every year.
From the very many people I have met in the course of my life, acquaintances are always turning up, and sometimes my memory serves me well. I remember in detail just where we met before. Then again, I have the most horrible moments trying to think what did happen the last time that fate threw us together.