JUNE 1, 1954
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Ever since reading on Sunday of the death of Anne O'Hare McCormick, I have felt what a loss this is to those of us in the United States who care about objective, truthful analysis of world events. One could always rely on anything Mrs. McCormick wrote as being based on knowledge and careful thinking.
To her family and friends the personal loss is very great, for she had a very warm personality and her friendship was worth having. I cannot claim to have been more than a great admirer and an acquaintance of fairly long standing, but I do not think anyone knowing her could help feel affectionately toward her. When our paths crossed in Paris—or, in fact, in any part of the world where we happened to meet—I always felt a glow of pleasure and of warmth. I can remember dinners together and conversations which will always remain happy memories. She made a great contribution to the world in which she lived, and there will be people in many areas of the world who will feel poorer because of her passing. She has left us, however, a great heritage in her written words. Those of us who like to help people to understand each other better can certainly reread many things that she wrote and use them as models for clear thinking and for clear expression.
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Sunday being Memorial Day, the usual services were held in the Rose Garden at Hyde Park at 3:30 in the afternoon. This year Mrs. Anna Rosenberg gave the memorial address. She has a fine speaking voice and yesterday I felt that she spoke with deep feeling. In her excellent address she condensed events since my husband's death, reminding us of what he had stood for in his lifetime and what he still could inspire us to do if we remember his ideals and the way in which he tried to carry them out. She spoke of the fact that he always looked forward. He accepted what was past as something we could not change. He tried to move forward in the present and to think beyond the present into the future. He well understood that each generation must look forward and move forward. Unless they do, they will turn back. Since one must keep constantly moving and developing, there is no such thing as standing still.
Mrs. Rosenberg reminded us also of the Four Freedoms. She said that she felt we had made considerable progress toward achieving freedom from want, but there was still much left to do, since those freedoms were written for the world as a whole and not just for the United States. There are areas in the world where freedom of religion is not established; and even here at home, she pointed out, we are not very sure today whether we have real freedom of expression and freedom to think freely, so that freedom from fear is still perhaps the furthest from achievement both here and in other areas of the world.
I was very grateful to Mrs. Rosenberg for being our speaker yesterday, for I have always felt that she knew my husband well through working with him in the both the prewar and the war period.