October 5, 1943 – President Roosevelt officially opened the National War Fund drive of 1943. The campaign was designed to raise funds for the various war relief agencies. Among them, the USO.
Here is an excerpt from that complete address:
“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.”
Here is that complete address as it was given on October 5, 1943.
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