Letter to Jackie

Letter to Jackie

I was looking for this around the time of the war in Iraq and couldn’t find it. But tonight, while looking for something else, I found it and so I print it here because it retains its relevance and meaning. Let us remember the sacrifices of our American servicemen and women and their families, not just on Memorial Day and Independence Day, but every day.

Commander John J. Shea wrote this letter to Jackie, his five-year-old son, just weeks before he was killed at sea on September 15, 1942 when the aircraft carrier USS WASP was sunk by the Japanese in the Guadalcanal Campaign.

Dear Jackie,

This is the first letter I have ever written directly to my little son and I am thrilled to know that you can read it all by yourself. If you miss some of the words, I’m sure it will be because I do not write very plainly. Mother will help you in that case I am sure.

I was certainly glad to hear your voice over the long distance telephone. It sounded as though I were right in the living room with you. You sounded as though you missed your daddy very much. I miss you too, more than anyone will ever know. It is too bad this war could not have been delayed a few more years so that I could grow up again with you and do with you all the things I planned to do when you were old enough to go to school.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli