DECEMBER 23, 1952
HYDE PARK, Monday—I am sure everyone was shocked to read of the crash this past weekend of the great C-124 Globemaster, which was carrying troops home for Christmas. This was the second major air accident within two months and one cannot help wondering why the cause cannot be discovered. We can't bring back those who have been killed, but if additional safety measures are necessary to prevent accidents of this kind they should be put in force at once.
It is a sad and terrible thing that young men should have to die in actual combat, but to die in a tragedy such as last Saturday's crash must be an unbearable shock to the families of the boys who lost their lives. The thought of the heartbreak that will come to many a family as a result of this accident is doubly sad because these young men were actually on their way to happy family reunions.
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The appointment of Admiral Earl Mountbatten to all NATO sea forces in the Mediterranean, with the exception of the U.S. Sixth Fleet, has brought great satisfaction all around. He is a commander that any and all navies are glad to "have aboard." He is an unquestioned expert on amphibious warfare and has a very remarkable talent for handling men.
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I was delighted to see a picture the other day of the aircraft carrier, the Franklin D. Roosevelt, at anchor in the Naples harbor. I have always had a great interest in this particular ship and have been pleased when I met men who were serving on it.
I remember once in Geneva, Switzerland, having a group who were on leave come to see me at my hotel, and I always feel proud when I hear that these men of the sea win us friends in harbors wherever they go. There have been times, of course, when our men would get us into some slight difficulty on shore, but most of them have learned that they are really ambassadors and that what they do makes or mars the reputation of the United States.
This is a new responsibility that not only our men in the services carry wherever they go, but men and women who go out to other areas of the world for our government, or for our businessmen, carry this same responsibility. They create the picture of what the people of the United States really are like, what they believe in, and what they work for.
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On Sunday I had the pleasure of lunching with Mr. and Mrs. Myron Taylor. In the evening my eldest son, James, who flew back at midnight to Los Angeles, was able to have dinner with Elliott and his wife, Miss Thompson and myself. Then we all went for a pre-Christmas party with my grandson, Curtis Roosevelt, and his wife. They are going to San Francisco today to spend Christmas with her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, and then they go down to Los Angeles to visit my daughter and her husband. This is quite a trip for them, as they are taking baby Julianna, aged nine months, on her first flight clear across the U.S. The young lady probably will have many more in her lifetime, but this first one will certainly be exciting to her mother and father, who have to look after her!