The Last Jump: Chapter 51

“There should be weeping at a man’s birth, not at his death.”
Charles Louis de Secondat Montesquieu (1689 – 1755)

June 6, 1944
Dear Johnny,


Earlier today we got the news that the invasion of Europe had begun. I can’t help but worry about you and pray that you’re okay.  Everything here at the hospital stopped as nurses and doctors gathered around the radio to listen to Ike.  He announced the invasion had begun.  The only thing he said was “the French Coast”.  There was no word on casualties or the units involved.  This is what everyone wants to know, as we all worry about our loved ones.

The feeling in the country is unbelievable.  It’s hard to describe in words but even though this is a troubled time of great worry and fear, that burden seems easier to bear because everyone is sharing it.  It’s also a time of great hope.  We all hope that this invasion is the beginning of the end to this War.

Just to give you an idea of what’s going on in New York, people were standing around the electric news bulletin sign in Times Square all day just reading the latest.  Broadway plays have shut down for the day.  The actors are going to USO Clubs and canteens to perform parts of their plays for servicemen for free.  All of baseball and horse racing cancelled their games.  In the late edition of the Daily News, the paper printed the Lord’s Prayer instead of its headline articles.   Big name stores like Lord and Taylor stayed closed.  Macy’s closed at noon.  Small shops turned to selling war bonds instead of their regular goods.


All of the churches and synagogues are holding special services and their pews are packed with folks praying for relatives or friends or just for the country.  Tonight President Roosevelt came on the radio and prayed.  The words of his prayer were reported in the newspapers and America joined him late tonight as he prayed over the radio.  Imagine a President on his knees praying to God along with millions of Americans for the safety of their sons.  I know you have your doubts about the existence of God but if you were here and saw what I saw and felt what I feel, the emotions would overwhelm you, too.  It would be hard to deny God in the face of all the prayer and faith that is happening all over America today.

One last thing before I turn off the lights and end this hectic and wonderful day with some sorely needed sleep.

You have a son.  Or should I say we have a son?

He was born today.  I named him John Patrick Kilroy, Jr. as we discussed.  He is 7 pounds, 11 ounces and looks so much like you.  We’re both doing fine and we can’t wait for you to come home and put your arms around both of us.  Until that wonderful day, may God take you in his hands and hold you and protect you.  (Just because you have your doubts doesn’t mean I can’t throw a prayer or two in there every once in a while – smile).   


Please take care and write back soon.

With All My Love,

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