My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Sometime ago I was notified that, on the 14th of July, France's Bastille Day, French Ambassador Henri Bonnet would like to present to me the Medaille Militaire awarded posthumously to my husband for his part in the liberation of France. So yesterday I went to Washington for the occasion.

My son Elliott and his children, Ruth Chandler and Elliott, Jr., as well as Mr. and Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and Robert Sherwood , traveled with me. I was anxious to reach Washington early enough to pay a visit to William D. Hassett, who is in Walter Reed Hospital. I was glad to find that he was not seriously ill, and I therefore went more cheerfully to the ceremonies at the French Embassy.

The award of the Medaille Militaire is a very great honor which I know my husband would have deeply appreciated. Many of his friends came to the ceremony so it was a heart-warming occasion. I shall now place this decoration in the Library at Hyde Park, which already has so many treasures which he would have been glad that people in different parts of the world wished to give him.

We took a plane back to New York City and then motored straight to Hyde Park. I must say there is a kind of emotion about a day like this which takes it out of one. So I was quite glad to get back to my cottage and to a little dog who looked at me severely, indicating that it was long past his usual bedtime—and what did I mean by coming home so late?

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This morning we are off to Maine—eight adults, four children, three dogs, one a puppy only a few months old, two cars, and a truck loaded with bicycles, bags, typewriters and books. This evening we are going to descend, we hope, on Ogunquit, Maine, to see my daughter-in-law, Faye Emerson Roosevelt, act in "State of the Union." Then we will proceed to Campobello Island, New Brunswick, to spend a month there in strict retirement—devoting half of each day to work on a book, and the other half to all the things that our youngsters love to do in a place where life is lived largely upon the water.

One thing which draws me back to this remote island is the sunsets as I look from my porch across the water to the mainland, where two rivers flow in on either side of Eastport, Maine. The sun sets behind the little town.

Eastport and Lubec are the two nearest mainland towns. They are not so very picturesque when you are in the streets, but from across the water they have great charm. I have sometimes thought that Lubec might almost be Mont St. Michel on the coast of France. That is just a little stretch of the imagination, however, and I like both these little towns for what they are. I get a lift of the spirit as soon as I begin to breathe the sea air of the Maine coast.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL