August 11, 1942
“HYDE PARK, Monday—…Some of the students who were at the institutes there were able to remain in New York City for a few days. We had much singing and gaiety, but also some serious discussion on the personal stake of each boy and girl in the war. Most of the boys will soon be in the service. I was interested to find how many of the girls felt that their contribution might be made in factory work.
Sometimes I grow a little weary of the older people, who through the medium of the press, thoughtlessly suggest that everything done for young people today is unnecessary. It is a privilege to fight for your country and the world, but with that privilege must go the assurance that when the war is over, if you survive, you will have a part in creating the conditions under which you want to live.
The fact that we are now obliged to call our youth to this kind of sacrifice, shows that some of us in different parts of the world failed to live up to the ideals to which we gave lip service in World War Number One after it came to an end. Perhaps we did not realize that it meant political and economic changes, not only at home but abroad.
In any case, we were not prepared to face the situation. The boys of today are going into the armed forces as rapidly as they can be equipped, trained and used, and perhaps it is worthwhile for them to have a conviction as to what they are fighting for. They may fight better. It will help them if they know we really care about their convictions and will continue to carry on the interests which they, as young people, are consecrated to in the future, while they, at present, fight the war.”