NOVEMBER 25, 1948
PARIS, Wednesday—It is curious to write about Thanksgiving when I am in a country which does not celebrate a holiday so dear to American hearts.
It was announced to us in the committee meeting last week that on Thursday, Nov. 25, we would have three meetings. This means a jam-packed day. I can't even attend the special Thanksgiving church services to be held especially for Americans. I'll have to say my prayers of thanksgiving alone.
I only hope that that day's work will be fruitful enough so that when it comes to an end, I can be thankful for having been obliged to be away from home.
I was asked the other day what I was personally thankful for. The answer was not difficult.
I can be grateful for the chance to work and the gift of health and strength and a sound mind. In the wider field I think I am most grateful that as a nation we are at peace and that we are prosperous. Employment is at a higher level than most people had thought possible.
I do not fool myself about the difficulties on the many precarious situations which we must face in the months and years to come, but I am thankful for the health, strength and confidence of the American people who trust in God and keep their powder dry.
They have a very clear vision of what they want to accomplish at home. I already am getting letters from people who are thinking of planning labor legislation and who have visions of conservation and the development of our natural resources. Curiously enough, this type of hope seemed almost dead with the 80th Congress. But with the infusion of new blood, hope is running high for the accomplishment of great things. I get rumors from home that people are hoping to achieve more and better housing and improved education, better health facilities and extended social security.
All this activity in the field of domestic interests is very promising, in spite of the fact that for the time being the dock strikes seem to be tying up things at home as well as making a great deal of trouble over here.
It is in the field of foreign affairs that I am hopeful the United States will take strides in leadership, for the Lord has seen fit to give us advantages much the same as we had during the war.
In a way we need the same global outlook and the same vision which projects itself far into the future to seek ways in which permanent peace can be achieved and kept. The United Nations is an organization through which we work with the other nations to achieve these ends...and each step we take will tend to strengthen the peace-loving and democratic forces of the world.
I think I am extremely thankful for the demonstration of strength and intelligence shown by the American people in the last election. It was an object lesson in the successful functioning of democracy which has left its mark on all the nations throughout the world.
We in the United States should be thankful for the good harvests which have been ours. We can be thankful for the wheat and corn and general prosperity among our farmers which is one of the bases on which total prosperity is built.
I am grateful that through the Marshall Plan we are helping to rebuild the economic strength of so many nations. It is sad, however, that in some of these countries the Communist element is using every method to sabotage this aid.
There will be a prayer of thanksgiving in my heart and on my lips that God will give those of us in the United Nations wisdom, patience and vision to plan and carry through our campaign for peace and world cooperation.