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Mar 29, 2008

During a break in the Aging in America conference in DC, I walked over to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorial. While it's been there for over 10 years, I had not yet visited, and I was really impressed.

It's a low-profile series of 4 "outdoor rooms" representing each of FDR's terms in office. The FDR memorial is located near the Jefferson memorial, and the cherry blossoms around the tidal basin are currently in full bloom, so it's a spectacular setting.

The FDR memorial doesn't have the grandiose feel of the Washington, Jefferson or Lincoln memorials, but in many ways it was equally moving. It has a more natural feel, with vines and waterfalls, which I imagine would have pleased this great conservationist.

What struck me the most was just how forward thinking FDR was, as is evident in the quotations inscribed the walls throughout the exhibit. Some of my favorites (I tend to be a quotes junkie...) :


"Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men." [from a Message to Congress on the Use of Our Natural Resources, Washington, D.C., January 24, 1935.]


"In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere must and shall choose the path of social justice, the path of faith, the path of hope and the path of love toward our fellow men." [from a campaign address, Detroit, Michigan, October 2, 1932.]


"I propose to create a Civilian Conservation Corps to be used in simple work, more important, however, than the material gains will be the moral and spiritual value of such work." [from a message to Congress on Unemployment Relief, Washington, D.C., March 21, 1933.]


"I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war." [from an address at Chautauqua, NY, August 14, 1936.]


"More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars." [from an undelivered address prepared for Jefferson Day to be delivered April 13, 1945.]


"Unless the peace that follows recognizes that the whole world is one neighborhood and does justice to the whole human race, the germs of another world war will remain as a constant threat to mankind." [from an address to White House Correspondents' Association, Washington, D.C., February 12, 1943.]

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Posted: Mar 29, 2008 9:54pm

 

 
 
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Randy Paynter
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Hillsborough, CA, USA
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