Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Remarks Recorded for the Opening of the Red Cross Campaign.

March 01, 1953

[Broadcast over national radio and television networks]

My fellow citizens:

The American Red Cross is one of the free institutions which has helped to make this country great.

What people do through the Red Cross, they do in the spirit of free men and women voluntarily giving of themselves to help their neighbors in time of personal tragedy, disaster, or emergency.

There are 3,700 Red Cross chapters making up one American Red Cross--your Red Cross.

I have here at the White House three guests whose personal experiences have given them a vivid understanding of what the Red Cross means.

Here is Captain Bernard Abrams who served in Korea as a company commander in the Third Division. Captain Abrams tells me that Red Cross field directors and Army chaplains always got to his unit when there were personal or family problems to handle for his men. And when he, himself, was critically wounded he received large quantities of plasma and blood.

And I have with me little Susie Giardina of Brooklyn, New York, who suffers from Cooley's anemia. She is 6½ years old. In the past 4 years she has received nearly 150 pints of blood donated through the Red Cross. She is still receiving blood each month.

My third guest is Miss Barbara Hussey who served as a recreation worker in hospitals in Korea during the bitterest of the fighting.

The men and women of the Red Cross give their time and their skill and the hard work of their hands, but only you and I-all the people acting together--can give them the resources they need to carry on the great work.

This year the Red Cross needs $93 million to do its job. It also must collect five million pints of blood--for the Armed Forces, for civil defense, for civilian sick and injured--and for those most precious civilians of all--our children. For now the Red Cross joins in the fight against infantile paralysis by providing gamma globulin which helps to prevent the crippling effects of polio.

This year your Red Cross serves the men and women of a military establishment nearly 3,600,000 strong--many of them still enduring the rigors and dangers of Korean combat.

Your Red Cross will serve in an unknown number of disasters. No one knows where these calamities will take place. But everyone knows that the Red Cross will be there.

My fellow Americans, I know the Red Cross. I have known it in peace and in two world wars. Whatever the time or the need, it is dedicated to strengthening the Nation by helping people to help themselves and their neighbors. It is ready to serve. But only we--the American people--can keep it ready.

I feel that it is one of our American privileges to support the 1953 Fund Appeal of the American Red Cross.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Remarks Recorded for the Opening of the Red Cross Campaign. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231924

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