JUNE 10, 1946
HYDE PARK, Sunday—On Friday afternoon I went with my son, Franklin Jr., to his farm on Long Island. I had a chance before dinner to see all of his livestock and what he is growing on the place. Then we went to the initial big meeting for the YWCA. My daughter-in-law, Ethel, is on the board and had asked me to come down and speak. Mrs. Moors, who is head of the Foreign Division, spoke very movingly of the work which the "Y" has done in many countries throughout the world, and particularly of the remarkable way in which the various foreign staffs had stayed on under war conditions. They moved with the people of the respective countries, enduring the same hardships, and are still trying to carry on the objectives for which the "Y" was established.
One particularly moving story was about a girl stationed in the Philippines. She had once been a member of the Girl Reserves and still possessed one of that organization's flags. During a critical period, news came that some of our paratroopers had landed in the jungle. The loyal Filipinos were afraid the men would be lost in the wilderness and not find the band of guerillas whom they had come to join. At the same time, there was great hesitation on the part of the older men, who felt that if they went out to find the Americans they not only ran the risk of being killed by the Japanese but also of being shot by the paratroopers, who might mistake them for Japanese.
No American flag was available, so this YWCA staff member took her Girl Reserve flag and went on the search with the old men. They crawled on their bellies through the jungle and finally spotted our paratroopers. When they stood up, it was to find themselves covered by every gun in the group. At that moment the girl broke out her flag.
"Hold on a minute!" shouted one of the paratroopers. "That's a flag of an organization to which my kid sister used to belong!" And in that way, both our men and the loyal Filipinos were saved.
The YWCA has much useful work to do in every community at home where it is established. Among its most important work, however, is the opportunity to acquaint people here with the people of other lands, and to put them in touch with the work which their own organization is doing in so many other countries.
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I have just had my attention drawn to a radio program called "Daily Dilemma," conducted five days a week, Monday through Friday, by Jack Barry. Mr. Barry's program is designed to help veterans find places to live, so he calls upon them to come and tell their stories on the radio. In the course of the last eight weeks, they have secured 100 apartments for veterans. I see quite a little of veterans these days, and I know that the housing problem is one of the things which causes them the most difficulty and therefore the greatest bitterness.