Friday, January 27, 2006

More Lessons From Eleanor

Regular readers know that I have been plowing through Eleanor Roosevelt's memoir, "This I Remember." It's really fantastic, but challenging to get through given how brief the quite moments are round here as the kids grow to the chase-each-other-screaming-at-the-top-of-their-lungs phase. In the last scintilla of quietness, I managed to negotiate a chapter.

Here's a few more gems of advice/lessons for the W, Rove and Co who are so busy with their spin cycle lead up to the State of the Union Address that they certainly don't have time to read - not that anyone in the W, Rove and Co are avid readers, but I digress.

Starting on page 234 of my copy:
Now the president of the United States was my husband, and for the second time in my life I heard a president tell the Congress that this nation was engaged in a war. I was deeply unhappy. I remember my anxieties about my husband and brother when World War I began; now I had four sons of military age.

The occasion was such a solemn one that we tried to take everyone we could to the Capital....It was a very impressive occasion, one of those occasions when a spirit of unity and strength prevailed. There was no criticism - only an acceptance of the fact that something had happened to us which as a nation we had to face...

...In retrospect it is easy to see things that were obscure at the time...

...I, however, could not help feeling that the New Deal social objectives that had fostered the spirit that would make it possible for us to fight the war, and I believed it was vastly important to give people the feeling that in fighting the war we were still really fighting for the same objectives. It was obvious that if the world were ruled by Hitler, freedom and democracy would no longer exist. I felt it was essential both to the prosecution of the war and to the period after the war that the fight for the rights of minorities should continue. I wanted to see us go on with our medical problem not only in the field of military medicine but in the whole area which concerned children and young people. I thought the groundwork should be laid for a wide health program after the war...

...Another visitor was Harry Hopkins' son, Robert, who was shortly to go into the service, as well as Harry's youngest son, Stephen, aged 17, who came at about the same time. This youngster was killed in the Pacific very soon after going into the service, and I always felt that his youth made it a particularly sad loss...

...Seeing their sons go off to war was hard on both my husband and Harry Hopkins. Both of them would have liked to take their sons' places. They wanted their sons to do what they could for the country, but humanly they wished they could be side by side with them.
Makes you wonder about the service of those offspring of our current leadership and question the legitimacy of the whole "war on terror", no?

2 comments:

lily said...

Why not read Eleanor ALOUD to the kids? What kid wouldn't get a thrill out of that?

Every year of my childhood I had to tour Roosevelt landmarks with my grandparents. Its good for the ol' character...

Anonymous said...


Bad parent, good parent

''Makes you wonder about the service of those offspring of our current leadership and question the legitimacy of the whole "war on terror'' - windspike

The day will come when the children of the current leadership will regret being raised by hypocrites. "How sharper than a serpents tooth it is to have a thankless child." What do they have to be thankful for?