Hundreds of citizens gathered at the Roosevelt Memorial Park to celebrate I am an American Day.
The date was May 20, 1945.
A solemn dedication of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Park from its former name, Coconut Grove was witnessed by the large gathering.
Honorable Omar Brown, chairman of the celebrations committee, whipped plans into shape for the formal dedication.
With the passing of a resolution, the municipal council authorized the name change.
Judge Herman E. Moore’s Speech
The most forceful and outstanding address delivered that day was given by Judge Herman E. Moore.
He denounced the philosophy of hate as un-American and laid the cause of hate at the door, of fear.
There is no room for hate in this great country of ours!
We know that no man can hate a group unless he fears that group, and no man fears another group unless deep in his own conscious, he feels that the other group has something on the ball, which he is uncertain whether or not he matches.”
Hatred is not the American way of meeting the problem, he said.
The true American way, as the Judge pointed out, is to find what the other man has on the ball, and to emulate it and surpass it, rather than to hate the man who posses it.
Only by the practice of brotherhood can this nation maintain a democratic way of life, for the basis of democracy is equality.
Hate only destroys, as we have seen, men and women, and all that they have built, even civilization itself.
That is why even in our small way, in St. Thomas, the evils of prejudices should be avoided.
That which we are victims of, and against, which we fight, should in no way be practiced by us.”
The Roosevelt Memorial Park’s Anniversary
Today marks the 71st anniversary of the dedication of this park and the wise words spoken by Judge Moore.
In 2007, the name was amended to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Veteran’s Park.