Sunday, November 23, 2014

Franklin Roosevelt's Sullivan Letter

Pol Light Moment #107 is when Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) wrote a letter to Mrs. Sullivan on January 13, 1943. Mrs. Sullivan was the mother who lost all five of her sons in World War II because the cruiser they were all on was destroyed in war. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States and served from 1933 until his death in 1945. Franklin D. Roosevelt also served as the Governor of New York from 1929-1932.

The five sons of Mrs. Sullivan requested to be stationed on the same Navy ship. They were killed on Nov. 15, 1942 during World War II when their ship the Juneau was attacked off Guadalcanal and sunk during the Battle of Solomon Islands (American Presidents History).

The following was the contents of the letter dated January 13, 1943, that Franklin Roosevelt wrote to Mrs. Sullivan.

Dear Mrs. Sullivan:
The knowledge that your five gallant sons are missing in action, against the enemy, inspired me to write you this personal message, I realize full well there is little I can say to assuage your grief.
As the Commander in Chief of the Army and the Navy, I want you to know that the entire nation shares your sorrow. I offer you the condolence and gratitude of our country. We, who remain to carry on the fight, must maintain the spirit in the knowledge that such sacrifice is not in vain. The Navy Department has informed me of the expressed desire of your son; George Thomas, Francis Henry, Joseph Eugene, Madison Abel, and Albert Leo, to serve on the same ship. I am sure, that we all take pride in the knowledge that they fought side by side.As one of your sons wrote, 'We will make a team together that can't be beat.' It is this spirit which in the end must triumph.  
Last March, you Mrs. Sullivan, were designated to sponsor a ship of the Navy in recognition of your patriotism and that of your sons. I am to understand that you are, now even more determined to carry on as sponsor. This evidence of unselfishness and courage serves as a real inspiration for me, as I am sure it will for all Americans. Such acts of fate and fortitude in the face of tragedy convince me of the indomitable spirit and will of our people. 
 I send you my deepest sympathy in your hour of trial and pray that in Almighty God you will find a comfort and help that only he can bring. 
Very Sincerely Yours,
Franklin Roosevelt 
(Source of Letter: American Presidents History). 

Franklin D. Roosevelt has been featured on other Pol Light posts. To view all Franklin Roosevelt posts search with Franklin Roosevelt label at Pol Light.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

Photo: The photo in this post is in the Public Domain. It was obtained from Wikipedia.

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