JULY 15, 1944
HYDE PARK, Friday—We were all saddened this morning to hear of the death of Brigadier-General Theodore Roosevelt. When he was young and went into the last war, his father told me that of all his sons, Ted was the one to whom soldiering seemed to be the real fulfillment of an inner desire. As a civilian, I think General Theodore Roosevelt has always felt that his greatest interest lay in military affairs.
It is a loss to our fighting forces for him to be taken at this time, and to his mother, his wife, and his children, it is a sad blow. And yet even they, I am sure, feel grateful that he was able to render this service to his country. I think he would prefer to leave this world in just such sudden fashion, having done a hard day's work, and knowing that the tide of victory was turning for the Allies.
It is interesting to note that in this family, three members of the older generation who fought in the last war, have taken full part in this war. Kermit Roosevelt died, also on duty, in Alaska, and Archie, when I was in Australia, had already been in heavy fighting in New Guinea, and his men had named a ridge after him.
The kind of fighting which is done today takes young men, but some older ones seem to take a pretty active part in it, and the Roosevelt family as a whole, has never been backward when adventure called, or when patriotism led them to danger zones.
There is a broadcast reported in this morning's paper as having been heard in London from Germany. It is a broadcast which breathes terror in every line, but there occurs in it a threat to destroy Europe before the Nazis give in. Many scientists will doubtless say that science has reached a point where either side might find some way to completely destroy the whole world. But the trouble with that kind of destruction is that it not only destroys the enemy, it destroys the world, and there are few who want to face the annihilating of their entire race. Even the satisfaction of annihilating all their enemies is not a sufficient satisfaction.
Therefore, it seems to me that in making this threat the Germans are simply whistling in the dark to keep up their courage, knowing full well that when they appeal for every man to fight, there may be people within Germany itself who no longer want to fight.
Last time, the break came among the people, not in the Army. Perhaps that is the way breaks have to come when armies are highly organized and trained. This broadcast may be the last desperate appeal to the German people, who may be reaching the point when even the revenge of nations which they once conquered seems more desirable than the demands made upon them by the continuation of the war.