You mean everything to me and it is the realisation of your love that gives me the courage to continue. Mom and Pop - we have caused you innumerable hardships and sacrifices - sacrifices which you both made readily and gladly that we might get more from life. I have always determined to show my appreciation to you by enabling you both to have more of the pleasures of life - but this war has prevented my doing so for the past three years. If you receive this letter I shall be unable to fulfil my desires, for I have requested that this letter be forwarded only in the event I do not return.
You have had many times more your share of illness and deaths in the family - still you have continued to exemplify what true parents should. I am sorry to add to your grief - but at all times realise that my thoughts are of you constantly and that I feel that in some small way I am helping to bring this wasteful war to a conclusion. We of the United States have something to fight for - never more fully have I realised that. There just is no other country with comparable wealth, advancement or standard of living.
The USA is worth a sacrifice! Remember always that I love you each most fervently and I am proud of you. Consider, Mary, my wife, as having taken my place in the family circle and watch over each other. Landed on Sword Beach on D-day June 4.
You certainly won't get this letter until after the event, as it were, but I hope it won't be delayed too long. I am writing this on board the ship in which we go across. At the moment, of course, we are at anchor off the coast of England, surrounded by a great many other ships and craft. We embarked yesterday afternoon. We had lunch in camp and then got into buses and drove - very slowly - down to the harbour.
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The men were all very cheerful, cracking jokes and cheering every girl we passed on the way. You would never have dreamed, except from the amount of equipment we were carrying, that we were not going on another exercise. I must say I didn't feel any different myself. I have known for over a year of course that we would eventually go off on this, or something similar, and I used to dread the last preparations and the final parting from friends and England, but in actual fact fortunately I haven't minded at all, now that it is really happening.
We all feel very confident and optimistic about the result of the landings, and we all think it is going to be a walkover - at first, anyway.
Also, it simply doesn't occur to anyone as a possibility that anything unpleasant can possibly happen - to other people, yes, but not to oneself, so naturally nobody worries about it. And also we are all intensely interested to see how this thing which we have been planning so long and training for so long does work out in practice.
I hope you have been getting some of my letters, but I am afraid they haven't been very good ones recently for obvious reasons - and there probably won't be any more for some time as I shall be rather busy for a few days! Anyway, please don't worry, I am sure to be all right and no news is good news.
All my love to you, and don't worry. Now finally the hour has come. How did you react to the news about the invasion? Although it had to happen and was foreseeable, it impressed me a lot. Of course it is not a trifle. For sure these hours the hugest battle is taking place that the world has ever seen.
Letters from D-day | World news | The Guardian
Hopefully fortune is with us now. Now history is being made. All the words are really just air. It's all about acting. Especially now I feel so unimportant and small. The days to come are certainly going to put an end to the suspense. Today I wanted to go to see Faust but I could not concentrate enough for that due to these events, and moreover in the end they performed a different play. The greatness of poetry really vanishes in front of the happening of today.
It's tingling in my blood, and I am really very curious. Everything is just so irrelevant compared with what is happening; or rather, the great embraces all the trifles.
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Not a minute to spare except you can probably guess how life is with us these days - damn busy and tired, but very well. Don't worry. He spent the next six months based there on an offshore liberty ship June Golly, honey - how I've missed you today. All of a sudden there comes this two-day break with almost nothing to do but unlax and stretch out. A week ago today was D-day - and these past seven days have been filled with sights and sounds I'll probably recall always.
Most of it was pretty exciting, a lot of it pretty nasty, none of it enjoyable. For the greatest part we haven't been close enough to catch the impact of the business being done. The glimpses we've had have been enough. Through it all and leading up to our coming there must have been - looking back now - a certain growing tension in all of us.
There was nothing spectacular or dramatic about it that I can recall. You were hardly aware of it. But there must have been a great deal of self-searching. For myself I found I was completely set for anything. There was a completeness and reason in my living up to that point that was answer in itself. I thought a lot about you, Janie dear - and I was as grateful to you and for you that it seemed to encompass my entire feelings. Above all else I prayed that I live to make you happy.
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That alone was yet to be done. I wanted to live, darling - living has always been like a new toy for me - and I wanted to live for you and with you. The promise of our tomorrows stretched ahead and were delicious just to contemplate. For these things I love you, darling - every hope and prayer for the future is ours - every agony and desperation of the now is for us. Twice as hard, twice as easy, a million times as wonderful as anything that's ever been on this earth. Hold tight to our faith, Janie puss - call on our love - live for us.
Honey, I love you somethin wonnerful - all I want is a chance to show it. G'night my angel wife. Your Sugy is an impatient baby - 'n how about you? Stay well, pooch - for me 'n for us. Hello darling, here I am with a few more lines hoping they find you in the best of health, as it leaves me at present. Before I start my letter I just want to say I love you so very much. Well today I think I can make this letter a little more interesting than usual, as we have been given permission to let you know something of what is happening.
Well, here I am just off the coast of Normandy taking part in the invasion of Europe. We are doing remarkable well, especially when you take into consideration the opposition we are up against. When we set sail the weather was very poor, in fact it was a little too rough for comfort, but needless to say everything got across OK. There was an incident of note and that was we narrowly escaped being hit by a torpedo. The tin-fish was launched from shore and it was by some chance and good fortune sighted.
We went full astern and the torpedo slipped harmlessly across our bows, missing us by 10ft - it might just as well have been 10 miles. That was the only incident of note, so we did well. I can honestly say it was a marvellous achievement to get the whole of the force across, which by the way is the 3 Division, with no losses. Of course, I don't want you to think it was just like eating pie, because it was far from that. Well the troops were landed and then there was one continued stream of reinforcements and stores pouring in.
We saw a sight during the first evening that was unbelievable. The airborne came over and it is utterly impossible for me to describe our feelings when we saw them. From one horizon to the other that is as far as the eye can see, the sky was blacked out by transports and gliders, there were hundreds besides the fighter cover that accompanied them. Never had anyone seen anything like it. A few prisoners have been taken and among them were a couple of women snipers, Frenchwomen. I don't think they will trouble anyone again.
As you know, the battle in the west has now started, and I am sure you can imagine that we are committing ourselves to it, and how little time is left for writing. This is about everything, about the existence or decline of our beloved fatherland. How every single one of us soldiers gets through this doesn't matter much, the main thing is and will be that we can soon win a just and long-lasting peace. Of course, we are also just humans with wishes and requests to providence, that one would like to see fulfilled. Although we have learned to often forego everything during the war that relates to us as persons and to our futures, we catch ourselves again and again still having wishes that may, of course, together with life, be extinguished into an eternal nothingness by the explosion of the next shell, but uphold our faith and our perseverance.
We have begun the greatest passage of arms and nobody knows what will be by the time our letters arrive.