APRIL 14, 1947
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Yesterday was the second anniversary of my husband's death, and so today I want to thank the numerous people who sent me messages both by mail and by telegram, showing that they remember this day also.
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Foundation held its first memorial service at the house at Hyde Park, and the members of the board and a few other guests were invited to lunch at the Nelson House in Poughkeepsie, and to hear some discussion of the plans which the Foundation is considering. During the broadcast later on, a statement was made on these plans and I think many people who have already begun to work out plans of their own for a memorial, will now want to get in touch with the Foundation and at least talk over their plans, so there may be one place where there is a record of everything which is being done, not only in our country but in the world.
There has just been published a very interesting book of correspondence between my husband and Pope Pius XII, beginning December of 1939 and ending with the messages received from His Holiness at the time of my husband's death. Mr. Myron C. Taylor who was chosen as my husband's representative at the Vatican with the rank of Ambassador, has written the interesting notes which explain the circumstances under which these letters were exchanged. They seem to me a very fine record of the way in which these two men were thinking and striving for alleviation of suffering during the war, and a genuine opportunity for peace after the war was won.
The following quotations from the first letter written by President Roosevelt to His Holiness, I think we should keep in mind now.
"Because, at this Christmas time, the world is in sorrow, it is especially fitting that I send you a message of greeting and of faith."...I take heart in remembering that in a similar time, Isaiah first prophesied the birth of Christ. Then, several centuries before His coming, the condition of the world was not unlike that which we see today. Then, as now, a conflagration had been set; and nations walked dangerously in the light of the fires they had themselves kindled. But in that very moment a spiritual rebirth was foreseen, - a new day which was to loose the captives and then consume the conquerors in the fire of their own kindling; and those who had taken the sword were to perish by the sword. There was promised a new age wherein through renewed faith the upward progress of the human race would become more secure."
And these words from a letter written by His Holiness to the late President should be particularly thought of: "We pray that soon in God's providence peace with justice will come to our heart-broken world, the Christian civilization will be preserved as the basis and incentive of world-order, and that love of God and neighbor will be the governing principle both of nations and of men."
This wish should still be in our hearts.