FEBRUARY 2, 1954
HYDE PARK, N.Y., Monday—A young man, Mr. Monroe Bush, whom I used to know in Washington some years ago, wrote me from Waterford, Virginia, the other day and sent me a poem which he had written at the time of my husband's death. I think it is still appropriate today and so I am quoting it here:
There is a quietness in his passing
That is close to perfect peace,
As the great heart finds its answer
In the light of death's release;
Another hears the calling,
Anxious people in the square,
Another takes the dreadful load that
He was stout enough to bear,
But the little men cannot first
Think of him or history,
For to little men both death and
War are wrapped in mystery;
They do not ask if he is safe,
They do not look for dawn—
They are just alone and cold and sad,
Because their friend is gone.
I came up early Saturday morning from New York and after the halfway mark was passed we began to have a snowstorm and pretty slippery roads, but we reached Hyde Park in time to meet the March of Dimes poster child at my husband's grave. First, General Irving of West Point laid the President's wreath and then he helped the little boy place his wreath, after which the Roosevelt Home Club, represented by Mr. Kessler, the president, laid its wreath. The weather was so bad that few people were present by the garden which looked very beautiful beneath its blanket of white snow. There was peace and quiet there.
My youngest son, John, and his little girl, Sally, went over with me. John's older little girl, Nina, had an attack of appendicitis early in the week and had only returned from the hospital. This seems to me a very short time to spend in the hospital, but nowadays after an operation you get out of bed the very next day and perhaps this is really much better than lying there thinking about it.
All the pictures and stories which are written about Queen Elizabeth II's trip in the Pacific area remind me of places which I saw during the war years. I know how happy all the people in these faraway lands are to see the young Queen and her consort, the Duke of Edinburgh. I am sure that she enjoyed New Zealand. The beautiful countryside and the welcome of the people would mean much to the new young Queen.
Friday night I attended an ADA dinner in Washington. This is one of the series held every year about this time in honor of my husband's birthday. This particular one was designed to pay a well-deserved tribute to Elmer Davis, America's foremost commentator of the air. Two of his own colleagues gave him very high praise, not only praising his ability but praising his courage and integrity. It is strange how highly we all value courage these days.