My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—In the hearts of many people this Thanksgiving Day there will be a deep and fervent sense of thankfulness. The war is at an end, and many boys and men who were in constant danger are home again with their families.

As a nation, our gratitude should be deep and strong for, having passed through the years of the war, we now find ourselves certainly better able than any other nation in the world to cope with the problems of the future. First, we have never been under the yoke of a conquering army. We have no devastated regions, no factories that have been destroyed, no land that has been laid waste, no cities and towns and villages that have been reduced to mere piles of rubble.

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Above everything else, we have a people that has suffered anxiety and sorrow, but which has not had to stand up under the strain of bombing or the prospect of starvation. We have had difficulties and inconveniences, but these should have served to strengthen the fiber of our people rather than to sap their courage or their physical and metal powers. Our thanksgiving might well be approached with solemnity for, as we voice our gratitude to Almighty God for our blessings, we might well pray also for the wisdom and the spiritual strength to accept our place of leadership.

There are forces in our land that are preaching the philosophy of fear—fear of our allies, hate of our fellow men. On this Thanksgiving Day we should resolve that these forces shall not triumph. Hate has destroyed Germany and Japan. It can destroy the rest of the nations of the world if they allow it to divide them. If we were citizens of the Soviet or of Great Britain or of any other nation, we might well look at the untouched United States and, remembering what she contributed to our ability to fight the war, fear might enter into our hearts. But by God's grace, we do not need, as citizens of the United States, to look with fear on any other nation.

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We have not only the obligation to get on with our fellow citizens at home, and to solve our problems here for our own sake, but we owe it to the people of the world. We have the resources, we have the ability. If we fail, what hope will people with problems far greater than ours be able to muster for their tasks?

We lift our hearts in gratitude this Thanksgiving Day, but let us also pray in deep humility that we may meet the demands of the great good fortune which has been vouchsafed to us as a nation.

PNews, SHJ, 22 November 1945