My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Friday—Today I am flying to Europe and, if all goes well, in somewhere around 24 hours I will find myself in Geneva, Switzerland. What a wonderful thing air transportation is! It permitted me to have my Thanksgiving celebration at Hyde Park with some of my family and friends; and after I reach Geneva, I should have a whole day to rest and get organized for the opening of the Human Rights Commission meeting on Monday morning. I shall write rather carefully of the progress which we make in our work, for I think all of us have a very vital interest in following this work.

It is some time since I have taken a flight overseas; in fact, not since I came back from the first meeting of the General Assembly in London early in 1946. That seems a long time ago and I have curiously mixed feelings about this present flight. In some ways it seems entirely casual and I have made little more preparation for this trip than I would if I were going down to Washington for a few days, and yet in other ways it seems rather a momentous journey.

Except for the few days spent in Germany at the end of the General Assembly in 1946, I have not been in Europe since the war. At that time I felt everything around me was crumbling. But people whom I have seen who went to Switzerland last winter said that they were not conscious of any reminders of war, that it seemed just normal atmosphere. I cannot help believing, however, that one gets some feeling, even in that embattled little nation, of the atmosphere existing in the countries around it. I am anxious to get first-hand impressions.

It is, of course, known that Switzerland has been the depository of a considerable amount of German wealth and I imagine there are many refugees of various kinds still making their homes in that country. My time is so short that I shall not stop in any other country, so I will have to make the best of whatever contacts I can have during my short stay in Geneva.

There is always a little excitement about going off to a new job, but as I grow older I find that I regret the things I leave behind. The lovely pink light in the sunrise sky as I awake on my porch at Hyde Park, the morning walks in the woods with a little black dog cavorting happily beside me or dashing off after the squirrels, the beautiful bluebird I saw unexpectedly take wing across my brook the other day, the family and friends I like to have around me, the Christmas preparation which I enjoy—all these are hard to leave. Only the sense of something tangible accomplished, that may be of value in the future, will seem to me to make this trip worthwhile.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL