Franklin D. Roosevelt

Radio Address on the National War Fund Drive.

October 17, 1944

My friends:

Once again I come to you on behalf of your community war fund, united with the National War Fund in a common federated appeal for us and for our allies.

This year, more than ever, we need the friendly aid and assistance of all these great humanitarian agencies for our fighting forces, for the long-suffering peoples of the United Nations, and for those in need among our neighbors here at home. These united services can bring us one step further in our fight for decency, humanity, and good will towards men.

Through a single gift to this united appeal we are able to extend the hand of friendship to millions of people at home and around the world—to perform millions of acts of kindness.

Through this one gift we show the warmth of our affection for our men and women in uniform by providing them with the home comforts and the conveniences of the U.S.O.—and, to those whose service has been fulfilled, a friendly hand in getting adjusted to civilian life all over again. Through U.S.O. Camp Shows, one of the great institutions of this war, we bring the spirit-refreshing tonic of good American entertainment to every camp, every military hospital, and every fighting front.

Through this same gift we also support United Seamen's Service, providing rest and relaxation for our merchant seamen —the men who are bringing the convoys through.

And we help to keep up the spirits of the homesick and heartsick prisoners of war- with the music, and the books, the sports and games provided by War Prisoners Aid.

It is through this gift that we send a token of our own personal friendship to the tragic victims of brute slavery and to those who have so long borne the burden of fighting this war- the hungry, the sick, and the homeless peoples of China, Russia, Britain, Belgium, France, Greece, Norway, Poland, The Netherlands, the Philippines, and other friends and neighbors in the community of Nations. This personal gift made by you, this token of sympathy and appreciation, is much more than the mere monetary assistance.

The great warmhearted good will that you have expressed through these funds has helped immeasurably to revive the spirit of faith and hope in many lands across the seas—and in many homes back here- where there has been bitterness and hatred after years of war and oppression.

Wherever our boys in the services go, they are welcomed not only as liberators but as good friends. Wherever they go, their presence spells "America," and that is a word now more beloved, I think, by more millions of people throughout the world than ever before in all our history.

And finally—through this united gift we contribute to the important wartime job at home of taking good care of our children and our young people—giving a helping hand to our neighbor down the street—maintaining standards of welfare worthy of the great efforts of our fighting forces.

This gift of friendship—this participation in our community war appeal- is one war job we are not compelled to do, but it is one that we all willingly wish to do. This is typical of democracy at its best.

In these days, as we begin to see the approach of victory, it may seem more of a burden to us to measure up to our war jobs and responsibilities. Our gift to our community war fund is one way to show that there is no letdown in the spirit and the unity of this country. This gift- this expression of our own free will speaks from the heart of the Nation.

Because of this, I know that this appeal will be met gladly and generously. I know that it will reaffirm our concern for our own and for our allies.

We cannot let them down now! I know that we will keep faith with them, as they are keeping it with us, until their job is done. I know that we will all have a great sense of pride on that glad day of their return—which we are trying to make as speedy as possible—when they shake us by the hand and say, "Thanks for helping, friend. In many ways, it meant a lot to us out there!"

And so, I ask your support in a big way—a way that will count.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Radio Address on the National War Fund Drive. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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