Harry S. Truman photo

Radio Remarks Opening the Red Cross Campaign.

February 28, 1947

[ Broadcast from the White House at 10 p.m. ]

My Fellow Citizens:

Recently there came to my desk a small pamphlet with a four-word title, "This Is Our Story." I opened it to find inside one of the really great stories of our time. Its pages unfolded a simple and moving story of the American Red Cross, geared now to peacetime requirements, yet remaining at the side of our occupation troops and in hospital wards with our servicemen and veterans.

The far-reaching work of the Red Cross is, indeed, our story. It is a story in which all of us can take deep pride. For we the people have built the Red Cross--an organization which translates dollars into helpful deeds, which transcends all barriers of race, creed, or color, which concerns itself only with human needs.

This narrative deals not with nameless millions, but with the boy who will no longer deliver papers down the street because he's lying paralyzed in a hospital, with the athlete whose mind was wiped clean of memory, with a little girl in France whose bare feet were frozen in the snow. It deals, too, with a Red Cross disaster worker who toiled with the injured throughout the night while his wife and only child lay among the dead.

This is an inspiring record of hope relit and comfort given. It is a story from the hearts of the millions who helped and were helped by the Red Cross during one 12-month period.

As the Nation's official disaster relief agency and as an auxiliary to our Armed Forces, the Red Cross must maintain direct access to the American people in order to render maximum service under its congressional charter. It can best serve the national interest and retain necessary freedom of action when emergency strikes by conducting an independent appeal for membership and financial support once a year.

The 1947 Red Cross Campaign begins tomorrow. Nearly 3 million volunteers have enlisted to help carry its message to the entire citizenship. I fervently hope these unselfish workers will be welcomed in every home and business establishment of the land.

Let us remind ourselves that many times a year the people turn to the Red Cross-once a year the Red Cross turns to the people. That time is now at hand.

Every dollar contributed will be multiplied in usefulness. Let us keep the Red Cross at full strength. Let us all respond proudly and generously to this call.

Harry S. Truman, Radio Remarks Opening the Red Cross Campaign. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232781

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