Governor Dewey, Senator Ires, ladies and gentlemen, my fellow Americans:
I am afraid that your Governor, although I have rarely found him wrong or mistaken in any statement, has not been to Washington lately. But $10 million does, again, mean an awful lot of money down there.
I came to New York in order that I could go to a dinner tonight, which is called the Al Smith Dinner. But it is staged each year in order to provide voluntary help for the care of the sick, to provide better health facilities in our country.
I think there is nothing that is more important for us than to realize that a healthy nation is a strong nation--strong in its morale, strong in its economy, strong as it faces the world, no matter what threats it may have to face. So this business of health is one that must engage the concern and attention of everybody who occupies a post that designates him a public servant to our body politic. That is the reason that I am to be there this evening, and when I heard of this practical demonstration of some of the funds of the public being put to actual use, I told the Governor not only that I would come but I would be happy to come.
Moreover, I would like to greet each of you, or at least some of you in your particular classes of activity, with respect to this great building.
Of course, to the doctors, nurses, the hospital attendants, all the diagnosticians, and the surgeons--everybody that will work here--this will be a great boon. They will be much better enabled to help our unfortunate people.
But as I look at a work like this, and realize that it is just as much what the plumber does to a pipe as what the doctor does to my appendix, I would like also to thank those people--the men that are putting this thing up, and taking pride in making sure that the doctors are not going to be stopped by the light suddenly going out, the plumbing going wrong, something happening to the elevator--I think each of you should possibly take pride in this work and this kind of constructive job for humanity.
We are, of course, as a nation, dedicated to peace. What does peace mean? It means that we know--each of us--that our best efforts, our substance, goes not to the construction of engines of war and things to kill each other, but those things to make each other happier, to help one another, to be healthier in our bodies, in our requirements, and certainly achieving more of what we want in our hearts with our families and with our children.
So I really feel this morning that every single person that has the slightest thing to do with this hospital, whether he was signing the bill that made the appropriations possible, or whether he is one of the men that smoothed out the roads so the foundation could be laid, or somewhere rise, every one of you is to be congratulated.
I bring to each of you my personal greetings, my very deep thanks for your courtesy in receiving me, the warmth of your welcome, and for listening to me.