Address by President Roosevelt on Red Cross Fund Drive (3-20-45)

Address by President Roosevelt on Red Cross Fund Drive
March 20, 1945, 9:00 p.m. EWT


Broadcast audio:

Ladies and gentlemen:

There was a time when you and I gave to the Red Cross largely in a feeling of aid to others. That was a giving in humanity and in decency. This year we give as well in necessity – necessity for our own. The need never was greater. And it will not soon be less.

As your President, I have never indulged myself or the American people in the pastime of predicting the advent of peace. I do not know when victory will come. I do know it will come, and I do know that tonight there are over seven and a half million Americans overseas or fighting afloat in this great war. I know that there are nearly seventy thousand Americans in prison camps of the enemy. And I know that there is nothing unpredictable about their needs.

We can be proud of all that the Red Cross has meant to them. From personal observation abroad, I can testify to the usefulness of the Red Cross in the battle zones.

It has reached through the barbed wire of enemy prison camps with millions of parcels of food, and clothing, and medical supplies.

It has collected for the Army and Navy vast quantities of precious blood plasma, which has saved thousands of American lives.

It has supplied refreshment and entertainment and good cheer. It has served as a link between the fighting man and his loved ones here at home.

Never, in the annals of voluntary service to humanity, has an agency performed so many tasks so well.

And this is no call for charity. This is our chance to serve those who serve us.

As their Commander-in-Chief, I call upon you, my fellow Americans, to oversubscribe the 1945 Red Cross War Fund. We cannot give too much to those who have given us the heroic hazard of their lives.