My dear Myron:-
I intended sending you a box of SOMETHING this week but Jen was telling me about the box she sent you and I knew that any thing I could make would be tame compared with that so I decided to wait a while and write you a note instead.
To say I was pleased to receive your letter and picture is putting it altogether too mildly. The picture is certainly fine. The only possible fault is that you look so serious and dignified but I imagine I can see a twinkle in the background — a smile that was kept back purposely — so it’s ALL RIGHT. You don’t look as thin as I thought you would either and I’m glad
I wonder if you are getting a blizzard today the way we are. Tuesday it snowed and blowed all day, and it has kept it up pretty well so far today. It’s been cold all the week but I’m hoping that when this spell is over we can have spring in earnest.
You spoke about our coming down to see you. I surely mean to — Providence permitting — if you stay there long enough and I think Jen does too. I don’t see any reasons why we can’t — Ransom and I have talked of it quite a lot — it�s not so far but what we could make it all right. So you stay right there and prepare for company about June.
I’m glad Helen liked your picture it shows her to be a girl of EXCELLENT taste.
I was talking with John the other night and he said that if things would only shape themselves around so that he could be sure that his family would be comfortable and provided for, he would go into some kind of war work in a minute. Said he kept feeling more and more as though he ought to get into it. But I told him that I thought that, until things get worse his place is at home WITH his family. There are a lot of men without dependents who have not gone yet and really we need some good men at home to help things running here. There�s a lot to do right at home. I find I haven’t time to do all the things I would like to do to help in the war work right here at home and I think we can all find enough o keep us busy behind the lines.
Well I guess the next thing is to get dinner so I’ll have to call this off. It’s just a note any way. Will write a little late.
The True Spirit
Here is a letter from a boy in France, printed in the Boston Transcript, which every American father and mother, sister and son “over here” should read. The letter is inspiring. We recommend it to all slackers and to those now occupying “bomb proof” positions.
Stirred up by the suggestions from home that he might wish to be in America, Lieutenant James Cambell McMullin, 2nd, Harvard, 17, and now of the Rainbow division, writes to his father and mother in Cambridge: “In rereading your letters I came across something I must have missed before, where you say: ‘Do you not sometimes wish you were back in the Ayer camp? Be honest now.’ I shall, and it is true when I say that if today someone offered me a secure $20,000 a year position in the United States, and if I were perfectly free to leave the army, I would not hesitate a moment in turning down the offer. No, dearest Mother and Father, there’s something a great deal bigger than personal comfort and safety and affections concerned. I have had a big awakening over here, and I would not be anywhere else in the world just now, had I the choice. It is patriotism; it is pride, yet it is far more than pride. There is something bigger at stake in this war bigger than the fate of a nation, even our own; it is a supreme test of might against right, and in the face of it all personal considerations must be swept aside. The one great good of this war is that it is teaching us as individuals, and I hope, as a nation, the value of self-sacrifice; and I can only feel pity for those who cannot attain it. I am fighting in the hope that my son — should I be so fortunate as to have one — shall not have to fight in another one, and I want to be able to tell him that in the great war I was on the firing line, not safe back home.
“I firmly believe that every man who is fit to be on the firing line should be there regardless of any personal considerations. Do not blind yourself to the one great fact: it is our war, over here as much or more than it would be on our own coasts, and we are fighting not only for America, but for the very rock foundations of civilization and liberty. Under the circumstance, my frank and fervent opinion is that any man who honestly wants to stay in America when he is eligible and fitted to be over here is a coward or worse — this is of course no disparagement to the one s allotted to do so in home service.
“Lord knows, I hate fighting and I hate war, the more so since I have seen some of its work, but I remember, and we all must remember, this; if a premature peace is made or a peace which does not in every detail satisfy our war aims and crush German militarism forever, we have failed, and the whole thing will come back again.
” This is a pretty stiff tirade, I grant you, but I am making it purposely as strong as I can, for I want to impress you with the absolute necessity of putting all thoughts of personal desires aside until the war is won. After the success, we shall reap the fruits, but first must come the success. Do not think for a moment that I do not appreciate how pleasant it would be to be near you all in America, but the very fact that I do appreciate it makes me all the more glad I am over here.
“So you see, it is a case of ‘carry on’ with determination, and never allowing discouragement to creep in for us. Then we will win the war by the only way that can impress the Germans, military victory, and then — well, then I’ll be glad to get home.”