JUNE 4, 1946
HYDE PARK, Monday—I was deeply grieved by the news that Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., our permanent member on the Security Council, had handed in his resignation, and I hope very much that the President and Secretary of State Byrnes can prevail upon him to remain. It seems to me that someone who has been so intimately connected with every step in the organization of the United Nations is very badly needed during these first years.
I realize that doing this work is a very great sacrifice and that there are few compensations for a man as young as Mr. Stettinius. I know he has done it from the beginning simply because he realized that our hope of future peace lay in the success of the United Nations idea. If his resignation means that he has come to the conclusion that the work cannot be accomplished and that we are not on the right path, then I think a great many of us will feel deeply discouraged.
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Last Wednesday morning, I went to the New York Port of Embarkation to one of the discussion groups carried on there among the officers and men. They asked me to talk about the United Nations. I found their interest great and realized again that, to practically everyone who has fought the war, the organization of the peace is a question of vital importance.
On Decoration Day, when Miss Thompson and I motored to Hyde Park, we did not start from New York quite early enough to avoid some of the troops who were gathering for the parade. But on the whole, we did pretty well and I was in plenty of time to be at Bard College for lunch before the commencement exercises.
This college, at Annandale-on-Hudson, has been in existence some 80-odd years, but it has had a variegated career. This year, for the first time, they graduated a co-educational class—girls and boys together received their degrees. They are making a special point of their music and arts courses, and they have a good many students in the social sciences.
It was a beautiful day and the ceremonies in front of the chapel, in the shade of the big trees which are one of Bard's great beauties, were both impressive and charming.
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I was back at Hyde Park in ample time for the Roosevelt Home Club Memorial Day service, which they held at my husband's grave at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Last year Frank Walker spoke. This year Robert Sherwood, the playwright, was the speaker. Both men were devoted to my husband and to the ideals for which he worked.
Mr. Sherwood went back to a speech made by Abraham Lincoln and showed the similarity in the times which both men faced. It was a very beautiful speech. I am hoping that all these memorial speeches will be kept in the library here year by year, because I am sure they will be a valuable record.