My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK—Here we are back to the 30th of May, our Memorial day. This day will bring many women who have lost relatives fighting in wars to the realization that again we decorate the graves of heroes who fight for freedom and for justice far away and under the flag of the United Nations. Nevertheless they fight for their own homes and their own land.

Slowly we are learning that when freedom is lost anywhere it is the concern of all the free peoples of the world. This is the first time the world has come together in such an effort. And sad though this Memorial Day is for all of us, because of the fact that fighting still goes in Korea, nevertheless this war may lead us to the reality of collective security and peace gained by collective cooperation.

The Decoration Day Service in Hyde Park today will be held by the Home Club. It is in memory of my husband and of all the other members of the neighborhood who have died in the service of their country. The neighbors will come together in the rose garden at Hyde Park for the services and to hear a speech by Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut.

I am expecting that three of my sons will be here together. Franklin Jr. is hoping to come with Senator McMahon and Elliott, who lives here, is now being joined by my youngest son, John, who is moving East to continue his business as representative of his western interests.

John and his wife and children have taken over my guest cottage at Hyde Park and so I think we can count on six grandchildren most of the time this summer. With Franklin Jr.'s two boys only a half hour's drive away in another part of the country, we ought to have plenty of activity and, I hope, a great deal of pleasure.

On this day all of us will think with pride of the services rendered by all the men whom we honor. At the same time we will be wishing for the future that these services can be given to our country in activities for peace instead of for war. I realize well that sometimes there is no alternative to war. But, in the modern world, war brings such a complete negation of all human rights that one cannot help but feel there must be leadership in this world to guide us away from the old paths and into the new paths for service in peace in which men can serve their country just as truly as they have always done.

In the last few weeks we have seen setbacks in Korea and now again the drive of the United Nations forces successfully back to and beyond the 38th Parallel. I wish that we could record as much activity in the field of diplomacy, for the United Nations efforts should never be limited to military efforts.

On this Memorial Day when we think of our own men, their courage, their high purpose and their willingness to serve their country, we must also think of the men of all the nations of the world who are probably offering themselves to their nations in the very same spirit. Somehow a way must be found to use this collective willingness to serve to keep us from wars and make this day a celebration for those who strive to preserve peace.

E.R.
PNews, NSJ, 30 May 1951