FEBRUARY 14, 1945
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—I am sure that all of us this morning got up with one first thought in mind. We wanted to know what agreements had been reached by the Big Three. I think the one outstanding thing which makes everybody heave a sigh of relief is the fact that agreement could be reached on so many subjects and that friendly cooperation could continue not only to win the war, but to win the first steps for the organization of peace.
All Americans must look forward with tremendous interest to the first United Nations meeting to be held here in San Francisco on April 25. The inclusion of the government of China and the provisional government of France, who will be immediately consulted and invited to sponsor invitations to the conference jointly with the governments of the United States, Great Britain and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, is an encouraging sign for the broadening of international cooperation.
Step by step, we seem to be moving to the laying of a firm foundation on which to build peace in the future. This cannot be done, however, unless the people of the nations involved see to it that at home they build the kind of atmosphere in which economic and political freedom is possible. This will require scrutiny of our domestic acts and a careful choice of our leaders, who must put clearly before the people all that is involved in creating an atmosphere for peace. Religious and racial prejudices are clearly no sound foundation for better understanding and unity at home or abroad. An economic policy which does not consider the well-being of all will not serve the purposes of peace and the growth of well-being among the people of all nations.
In much of the world, great masses of people have lost everything and must begin to build up again from the bottom. As you read accounts of destruction in cities where thousands of people once lived, but where today only six houses are left standing or where only the walls of certain buildings attest to the fact that once there was civilization and beauty and apparent permanence, you realize that these people may have more courage than we have. The mere fact of being alive and having a chance to work in a land where there is much work to be done, will seem a miracle and give them added strength.
Out of our good fortune we must build the courage that comes from a realization of the gratitude we owe for our safety, and a recognition that that gratitude can only be shown in a high quality of leadership which will build here at home the kind of spiritual atmosphere which leads to broader vision and better political and economic cooperation in a world at peace.