JULY 30, 1948
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I received in the mail yesterday some very interesting material from the Philippines. And, among it, one thing struck me particularly—the reproduction of a poem written to a little girl on her first birthday, July 12, 1943, by a group of internees in the San Tomas internment camp near Manila.
And there's one or two things you should be told
Before they are forgotten.
You may not understand, lassie, at your age,
Why we prisoners wish to fill a page
With sentiments like this.
But keep it, Marie, and cherish it; never mind the bother
Some day you'll know the friend we meant—
Francis Ortigas, Jr., to whose daughter this poem was written, must have been a courageous and very fine person. He also encloses the account of the massacre at De La Salle College, a Roman Catholic school conducted by brothers of the Christian Schools.
Tales of cruelty of man to his fellow man were more than numerous during the war and are abundant today, but even amidst cruelty one comes upon compensating qualities of greatness, of courage and of honesty. Then one feels glad, for where good examples are set one knows that in time they will be understood and followed.
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Professor Nelson Brown of Syracuse University, who was my husband's constant adviser on tree planting, was a visitor today, and together we inspected a great many of our plantings. He pointed out to me the shades of difference among our various evergreen trees and I managed to understand quite well, but how long I will remember what they are is another question. I am glad he promised to send Elliott a written statement of his recommendations.
Dr. Brown hunted a long while before he found some of the little trees we planted last spring. While this has been a wonderful year for trees to grow, it also has been a wonderful year for weeds to grow, and I think it takes a practiced eye to detect the little seedlings among the other growth.
* * *
I have been reading a book called, "Wind Island" by Hedvig Collin to the youngest among the children here. It is a Junior Literary Guild book and the illustrations are perfectly delightful. The scene is laid in Denmark and the characters are a family of Danish children. One nice thing about these modern children's books is that they have real interest for the elders who read them aloud as well as for the children who listen. This is not a new book, but one which came out some time ago, and I find that my library is valuable just because I have a collection of such variety that the youngsters have a wide choice from which to draw.