JUNE 19, 1946
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Two graduates of the class of '46 at Mount Holyoke wrote a little article in the Mount Holyoke News, addressed to the class of 1960. They are young people just starting out in life, but they are thinking about the future and they said something to the little 6-year-olds of today which I think perhaps needs to be said to people of all ages in this country, now and always.
"Never forget that these (the war years now and in the past, Dunkirk, Pearl Harbor, etc.) are testimonies of man's failure to grasp his responsibilities for his fellow man."
Bishop Bernard J. Sheil of Chicago, in his fine speech to the American Veterans Committee at their convention in Des Moines, Iowa, which has just come to a close, stressed somewhat the same idea when he said that the slogan this young veterans' group had adopted was very heartening—namely, "Citizens First, Veterans Second." He reminded them what it means to be a citizen today, and I think his speech must have sent many a young man soberly out to work in the coming years.
Bishop Sheil stressed the need of treating labor as human beings and giving them the cooperation with management which they are now asking. Then he took up another thorny problem, the treatment of minorities. He wondered whether the Jew and the Negro did not sometimes smile wryly when they pledged allegiance to our flag "with liberty and justice for all."
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I saw somewhere that some of the people of Des Moines were a little depressed because this veterans' group had done so little night clubbing and general entertainment. These veterans stuck to their business and argued their problems out. Perhaps this younger generation is a more serious generation. The veterans, at least, have a closer acquaintance with death than many of us older people have experienced.
I sometimes wonder if it would not be a valuable thing for some of us who are older to face the fact that, even though we did not fight the war, our acquaintance with death may be much nearer than we think. Even in the Halls of Congress, we might take a little more objective view of some of the problems before us.
It is often apparent that most people are thinking primarily of how this or that particular measure or action in Congress is going to affect them and their interests. As a matter of fact, it may affect a great many people but it may never touch the individual who starts the ball rolling one way or another.
Two things come to my mind. One is the action on price control. The other is the possible action on our sugar supply. Both deserve a little thought on the part of all of us, so I'll discuss them further tomorrow.