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STATEMENT lADE BY DON JUAN DURAN Y CASAHON1DA ON THE TV PROGRAM METROPOLI OF
S CHANINEL 2, 1EXICO CITY 01 FRIDAY OCTOBER 21, 1960.
Yesterday, upon conferring the Order of the Aztec Eagle* upon His Highness
Prince Albert of Belgium, the President (of IMexico) spoke of understanding and
friendship between people. I take these words as a basis for doing something
today which I have never done before, making a direct request to the President
of our Iepublic asking that he confer the Aztec Eagle on Mrs. Mary Elmendorf,
because if anyone deserves this award "for distinguished services to Mexico"
it is she. And may Don Manuel Tello (the Foreign Minister) pardon this
untoward breach of protocol.
Mary Elmendorf is politically a citizen of the United States and spirit-
ually a citizen of the world. She deserves this decoration because she has
served our people as have few foreigners, with respect love)and with no strings
attached. She has not given of her own wealth, for she has none, but she has
distributed that which others have put in her hsm s knowing hermission wirth
such graciousness, with such friendliness toward country folks and our humble
citizens, that the programmed help has become dignified, has resulted not
charity but generous help from brother to brother.
In eight years, as Director of CARE, an American relief agency, Mary
Elmendorf has distributed in eight hundred rural Mexican villages, not as
individual or personal gifts but as contributions for the cooperative use
of the communities, 869 sewing machines, 1,269 carpenter kits, 680 plows,
2,797 agricultural hand tools, 1,153 recreation and playground kits, 1,288
'- collections of books. Along with this she has made available for service to
these native villages two mobile health units, a well-drilling rig and
laboratory equipment for hospitals.
In Santa T[aria Atenco, State of Mexico, where the little central plaza
since last Friday bears the name of this great lady of good will, the president
of the village improvement committee at a farewell for MIary Elmendorf, who
has just left her post saids"Go back to your country, dear lady, to that
land which now we loav more because you have helped us to know it better,
and tell your people that you leave here some good friends, ready to be
just that to all men of good will, without distinction of class, creed
Do you not think that eight years of friendly work, quietly and patiently
accomplished, deserve our gratitude?
NOTE: The speaker of these lines, the outstanding television news broadcaster
of Mexico, has been a member of the CARE advisory committee for several years.
He once had a reputation for being mildly anit-American, but has steadily
become more interested in CARE's program as a means for better understanding
in the world.
The Order of the Aztec Eagle is the highest award Mexico can give to
i ^ any individual.
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