No Valentine card was as romantic as this ...

Love letter from well-known WWI general will melt your heart

Phil Briggs
February 15, 2019 - 10:25 am

Center for American War Letters

Look at the card you just gave the love of your life.

Does it include; pictures of a beach? glitter? embellishments? or phrases like, "My love for you is deeper than the ocean ... I can't imagine this journey without you."

Barf.

While modern greeting cards are often cornier than a bag of candy hearts, I recently received a letter which proves the general who guided America to victory in WWI, was also one of the greatest romance writers of all time. Andrew Carroll, Founder of The Center for American War Letters, at Chapman University, recently shared a letter from General John J Pershing, and after reading it, I understood that I've never given a card with words this touching or found a story this bittersweet.

"Pershing had passed away on July 15, 1948, due to congestive heart failure but the salty old general had one major request before he died," explained Carroll. "On December 20, 1929, he had written a letter to Micheline  (Michette) Resco that he handed to his son Warren, and instructed him to give it to her after he passed away."  The significance of this letter can only be appreciated when you realize that Pershing's first wife and daughters died in a tragic fire just before the war.  With a broken heart, Pershing pushed on to lead thousands of young inexperienced troops to defeat a well armed and better trained German Army in WWI. 

In the years that followed WWI, Pershing likely felt like he had lost everything, and Michette Resco, who went on to become his second wife, was likely one of his only sources of inspiration and comfort.

His words are as beautiful today as the day the letter was first opened:

My Dear Michette,

What a beautiful love has been ours! How perfect the confidence and the communion! How happy have been the days we have spent together! At the twilight of my life, God sent you to be near me. In my hours of sadness you have been my strength. In my moments of triumph, you have been there to share them with me. Ever since we first met you have been in my thoughts by day and my dreams by night. Your beauty, your greatness of soul, your brilliance of mind have been the inspiration of the sincerest admiration and the purest love. I fain would think your presence, unseen perhaps, has always filled my heart. As my dear companion in life you must be with me through eternity. I can not but believe, chérie, that together we shall pluck the flowers that grow in some fairer land. So, do not weep, be brave, say not goodbye, but say goodnight, and in some brighter clime bid me good morning, where you will hold me in your dear arms, and I shall be your own. In all the future the lingering fragrance of your kisses shall be fresh on my lips.

As always, much love…

 

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