MARCH 29, 1945
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—I am sure that many of you feel as I do—that you are perpetually waiting for something. Every time you open a paper and every time you turn on the radio, you hope to hear that the end of hostilities has come in Europe.
I read in the paper yesterday morning that a number of German people keep asking why we continue bombing and destroying their cities and countryside. A plea was made for more propaganda on our part so that the Germans should understand the war and their part in it. It seems fairly obvious that they must understand it or they would not insist on continuing their resistance.
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The awarding of the Army-Navy "E" to the blind workers of the Lighthouse Workshop of the Blind yesterday was one of the most moving ceremonies I have attended. A blinded marine, the recipient of many medals for heroism on Guadalcanal, gave the "E" pin to some special workers. The achievements of the blind, who have been working for some time in their own workshop, must be a great encouragement to the men who have been blinded in this war. Since the government has been able to get such good work from the blind men and women for the war effort, one cannot help hoping that employers will take note of what can be done with training in spite of their handicap. Blind people should have the opportunity and satisfaction of earning their livelihood in the future on an equal basis with other workers.
I spent two hours at Walter Reed Hospital this morning, first taking part in one of their regular forum series, and then answering questions for another hour. Among the questions was one from a man who said that in the past he found a physical handicap caused an employer to be unwilling to employ a man for fear of accident, or because he doubted his ability to do the job as well as a man with no physical handicap. One can only hope that it will be possible to prove to employers that, with training, a physically handicapped person can do the job to which he is adjusted and for which he is trained as well as any other worker, and can do it with a minimum of risk because he is trained to take the necessary precautions.
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After lunch a group of about 30 men from Fort Meade Regional Hospital came to see the White House. We had some light refreshments and talked for about an hour. The day was so beautiful that we were able to show them the South Portico, since they were particularly anxious to see where the inauguration ceremonies were held.
I have a number of appointments to fill up the rest of the afternoon, and tonight I go to a dinner given by the Farmers Union for some of their workers. James Patton, who is head of the Farmers Union, has a great vision for the future of the small farmer throughout the nation.