Franklin D. Roosevelt

Radio Address on the National War Fund Drive.

October 05, 1943

My friends and fellow Americans:

We, the people of the United States, know now that ultimate victory is certain—but that it is still a long way off, and that for it we are paying and shall have to pay a great price.

In the genius of the American people- for freedom, and decency, and friendliness among neighbors—lies one of our best weapons for that victory, and certainly our greatest insurance for a peace that will be just and lasting. Our men and our allies know they have made no covenant with our Government alone. They know that they have the backing of all the resources and spirit of the American people themselves. In that conviction alone lies the winning morale which no slave of a dictator can ever know.

That is why I am glad to speak to you tonight about the National War Fund. It is a philanthropic federation with three simple aims; first, to determine the nature and the extent of the war-related needs; second, to see that everybody has a chance to contribute to the funds required; and third, to channel the sums raised for its member agencies wherever American help is currently most needed—to raise enough and on time.

The National War Fund has the hearty approval and support of all the Government agencies concerned with our management of the war. For the National War Fund, by its unity, its economy, its competent management, and its elimination of waste, duplication, and delay, is playing a part in our total war effort which all of us in Washington regard as an absolute essential.

In its unity of purpose, and its federation of agencies without surrender of State and local freedom of method, of course, the National War Fund combines the American genius for organization, the American capacity for economy, and the best of our American tradition for giving freely, and promptly, and in proportion to our means and the need.

For these reasons, when your local war fund or community chest asks you to give—for our own forces, for our allies, and for the needs at home, I ask all of you to think about it carefully before you give.

I ask you to remember that the U.S.O. is your share of what we are doing for our own fighting men, an? the forces behind the lines. I ask you to consider that War Prisoners' Aid does what no Government can do. I ask you to think of United Seamen's Service in terms of the people's debt to the men who took our ships across in the darkest hours of the war. And I ask you not to forget that the people of Russia, and China, and of all the other United Nations—and especially the unfortunate, hungry men and women and children of all the overrun and enslaved countries- see in your personal and friendly concern the brightest ray of hope and the greatest power for good in the world today—the sovereign voice of the people of the United States.

And so I ask you to give thoughtfully, and generously, and proportionately—remembering, as you give, that a share in the National War Fund is a share in winning the war, and in winning the right of free men to live in a better world.

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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