My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK, Sunday—Here we are again at another Fourth of July, and for many of us it is of deep concern that as yet the world has not become a peaceful place in which to live.

We are celebrating our National Day of Independence on which we declared ourselves a free and independent nation. We must never forget that we did this because we could no longer allow a nation far away from our shores, lacking in understanding of our problems, to govern us. The years of our separation and war with Great Britain are long past and now we have learned that we can cooperate with the very same nation against whom we once fought to gain our independence.

Some of our history books still read as though the revolution were being fought today. It is unfortunate, it seems to me, that children are not made to understand that the conditions at the time of the American Revolution no longer exist in the world, and that we now can and should cooperate with people who are really our close neighbors, even though both of us are now great and sovereign nations.

This has been a gradual development, aided of course by the physical changes in the world and it should show us that more developments are sure to come that will give us hope that the time is past when it required war to bring about a change.

* * *

Our minds should be turned on this Fourth of July to the fact that more and more people throughout the world are trying to obtain real liberty and self-government. Education is spreading, and with education there must of necessity, be greater participation of the individual in government.

We are trying in the United Nations, one of the greatest experiments that man has ever tried in an effort to teach cooperation to human beings and have them work out their difficulties without resorting to war.

Therefore, on this historic day, which celebrates our independence won through war, we must dedicate ourselves solemnly to make every effort to achieve a new independence for humanity from something that might easily destroy our entire civilization, if it were allowed to continue.

PNews, EPHP, 5 July 1948