Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

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Harry S. Truman
1945-1953


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Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.
  116. Informal Remarks in Nebraska  
June 5, 1948

[1.] OMAHA, NEBRASKA (At the dedication of the War Memorial, 2:15 p.m.)


Mr. Chairman, Governor of Nebraska, His Honor the Mayor of Omaha, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen:

I am happy that I am present today to assist in the dedication of this Memorial to the war dead of Douglas County. I am somewhat personally interested in this dedication. I understand it is to be the custom to plant a tree for each war hero from this county in this park.

A tree has been planted to the son of one of the soldiers of the First World War who served with me in France--Eddie McKim, Jr.

Eddie was a fine boy. I knew him from birth until the day he sailed away.

All the boys and all the girls, and all the men and all the women who made a contribution to the winning of this war did it because they had an ideal. They believed, and I believe, that that ideal is a peace in the world for all the world, and the fundamentals of that peace, as I said yesterday at Fort Wayne, Ind., are based on three things. We must make the United Nations continue to work, and to be a going concern, to see that difficulties between nations may be settled just as we settle difficulties between States here in the United States. When Kansas and Colorado fall out over the waters in the Arkansas River, they don't go to war over it, they go to the Supreme Court of the United States, and the matter is settled in a just and honorable way.

There is not a difficulty in the whole world that cannot be settled in exactly the same way in a world court.

If we make this peace what these young men who died believed it would be, they will not have died in vain.

And with this memorial ever before you, you in Douglas County can always look forward to the accomplishment of that ideal.

And I am sure you will.

[2.] BOYS TOWN, NEBRASKA (3:05 p.m.)


Father Walsh, Mayor of Boys Town, and citizens of Boys Town:

This is a very great pleasure for me, to pay a return visit to this wonderful city. I have been here many years ago, and I was very well acquainted with Monsignor Flanagan. I never called him anything but Father Flanagan, and I shall always think of him as Father Flanagan. I was in the White House when he called on me, just before he started for Europe, and we had a long conversation about the welfare of the world and its future. And I requested him to prepare for me a report on Austria and Germany and Italy, and those countries he intended to visit. He got a chance to prepare the Austrian report, and I received it today. Unfortunately, the others were not prepared.

The country and the world lost a real citizen, and a man who has made a contribution to the welfare of this great republic, when Father Flanagan passed on to Heaven.

You young men are extremely lucky to be citizens of Boys Town. You are just the right age for the future welfare of this great republic of yours. Don't let anybody tell you that there are no more opportunities. There are more and greater opportunities now than ever before in the history of the world. We are on the edge of the greatest age that man has ever seen, and you are the right age to help implement that, and make it work.

Look forward to the future as the greatest that the world has ever faced. We are working heroically and manfully for world peace that will be permanent and that will be lasting. We are going to get that peace.

You know, in 1920 Almighty God intended this country to assume the leadership of the world, which it would not assume-which it shirked. This brought on another cataclysm.

We are now faced with the necessity-with the leadership which we were intended to take in 1920. If we are successful in that leadership--and we are going to be successful in it--your future is assured.

I want to thank you very much for the pleasant day I have had here, for the choir singing, and for the presents for Mrs. Truman, and for Margaret, and for me. I shall treasure them all my life.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: In the course of his remarks on June 5 the President referred to Val Peterson, Governor of Nebraska, Glenn Cunningham, Mayor of Omaha, Edward D. McKim, Jr., whose father served with Mr. Truman in Battery D, 129th Field Artillery, Father Edmond C. Walsh, Acting Director of Boys Town, Eddie Dunn, student mayor of the school, and Msgr. E. J. Flanagan, founder of Boys Town.
 
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.