My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—Yesterday I went to Hyde Park to meet Mr. and Mrs. Winston Churchill, their daughter Mrs. Oliver, Ambassador to Britain John G. Winant, and Colonel Frank Clarke, all of whom came up for a few hours. Mr. Churchill had told me before he came to this country that he wanted to lay a wreath on my husband's grave.

My son Elliott and his wife and I met them at the gate of the big place. It was a beautiful day and, though it was still very wintry, I thought that peace and dignity reigned within the tall hedge, even though the garden had no flowers except those which had already been placed on the grave.

As Mr. Churchill placed his wreath and then stood there for a long while, I felt sure that he was thinking of the years when he and my husband had worked in such close cooperation to win the war. He seemed oblivious, for those few minutes at least, of the numerous cameramen standing along the path—taking pictures of one war leader, who must watch the struggles to establish peace, standing by the grave of another war leader, who has been spared the anxieties which would be his if he were here today.

I often wish he were here so that I might ask him what he thinks or feels in certain situations, but I am not quite sure that he would not suffer some disappointment as he looked at our world today. He hoped that we would build confidence and interdependence among men, and I am not sure how many of us are really striving towards that end.

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I think it was a day of great emotion for Mr. Churchill. Besides the respect he had for my husband as a statesman, which made it possible for them to work together even when they differed, he also had a real affection for him as a human being, just as my husband had for him.

No matter how much any of us may differ at times with the ideas which Mr. Churchill may hold, none of us will ever cease to be grateful to him for the leadership which he gave during the war. He seemed to gather up the strength of a great people and to intensify it through his utterances and actions.

I was very happy to have an opportunity to see Mrs. Churchill and her daughter, and I was only sorry that our visit was so very short. They all lunched with me, and then Mr. Churchill was off to Albany to see Governor Dewey.

New York City will do them all honor during the next few days. Then they will return to Great Britain and the grim business of facing each situation as it arises in the world today—trying to deal with it not only as members of a political party, but as citizens of one of the great nations of the world!

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL