JUNE 27, 1950
PARIS, Monday—Friday morning we left Luxembourg about 9:40 and drove to Rheims. Just as we reached the Cathedral Square, however, the rain descended which made it rather difficult for the children to examine the facade of the cathedral in leisurely fashion! We did pick out the Laughing Angel and the Smiling Angel, and many statues of the various kings who have been consecrated in the cathedral. Inside we had time to look around. The Prefect and the two priests who escorted us, showed us the statue of Joan of Arc, the American flag which at one time was removed by the Germans, but has since been replaced by the Americans in World War II, and the memorial in commemoration of more than a million British lives lost in this area during World War I. Unfortunately, we did not have as much time as I would have liked to examine the tapestries. These cover the walls on both sides of the long aisles.
We lunched at the Auberge de Bellevue first, beyond Rheims and, afterwards, we drove on to see the Chateau Thierry monument. It is beautifully placed and so well kept. I particularly like the last part of the inscription which faces you as you arrive: "It stands a lasting symbol of the friendship and co-operation between the French and American armies." And the line inscribed over the map, which shows the range of World War I battles that took place in that area, I like too: "Time will not dim the glory of their deeds."
When you visit these monuments you realize how many Americans gave their lives in helping to save Europe. The roots of most of our people, do lie, of course, in the various countries of Europe, so it is natural that the ties between us are deep, and that our interests should be so closely interwoven.
As we drove into Paris I could not help pointing out to my grandchildren the sights that I have always loved—we drove by the Opera House, the Madeleine, and out into the Place de la Concorde with the gilded dome of the "Invalides" in the distance. I hope we will have fine weather because Paris in June can be enchanting.
We dined with Mr. and Mrs. Averell Harriman, and it was pleasant to see Mr. Robert Hopkins and his wife, together with a number of other delightful and interesting people.
Paris is a place which attracts many people and, I believe, stimulates everybody to thinking at least on a European scale, if not always on a global one.