Sunday, November 28, 2010

Never thought about achievements—

If asked us to make a list of those who we most admired and who had most influenced our world for the better, both of these giants would be near the top.
Eleanor Roosevelt at home, interviewed by Edward R. Murrow for Person to Person in 1954.
Viewing time 14 minutes.



My father always said that Eleanor Roosevelt saved his life. My father was stationed in Australia & New Guinea during World War II. For those unfamiliar with that theater of war it can be described as inhuman. At any given time 40-60% of troops, both Japanese and Allied, were essentially disabled due to tropical disease. My father was among those who contracted multiple diseases, malaria among them. (His statement was first you're afraid you will die, then you're afraid you won't die.)

It turns out that Eleanor Roosevelt was visiting the encampment where my father was stationed in Australia after his evacuation from New Guinea. A group of soldiers (including Dad) was left out in the sun behind the main hospital tent and pretty much left to get better on their own or die. As Mrs. Roosevelt was touring the site she noticed these men and asked her escort about them. The army officer sort of ignored her question and tried to move on. This wasn't to her liking and she insisted on meeting the men and making sure that they got the medical treatment they needed, thus saving my father's life, at least in his mind. (Good enough for me.)

Just another example in a multitude of Eleanor Roosevelt's caring for her fellow people. She is still someone I admire greatly even though she died just months after I was born.

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