Dispatches: Dear Son (Letters From George Patton and Ferdinando Sacco)

In England in 1944, as General George S. Patton prepared his troops for battle, he wrote a letter to his son George, then enrolled at West Point. Though the letter is father to son, it comes across more as a communiqué from officer to soldier, and as a mission statement about personal conduct in war. In the letter, Patton, who as commander of the Third Army captured more prisoners and liberated more territory in World War II than any other army in history, in effect lectures the 21-year-old cadet (at the end he acknowledges having given a “sermon”). For example, he addresses the issue of courage versus cowardice. Of those who act timidly in combat, Patton writes, “You will never do that because of your blood lines on both sides.” The peptalk also urges the son to take risks and be self-confident (“You can have no doubts about your abilities as a soldier”). Most memorably, he advises him to be true to himself, because unless people are themselves, they are “nobody.” http://artofmanliness.com/2011/08/21/manvotional-a-letter-from-general-george-s-patton-to-his-son/

In 1927, four days before he was to be executed by electrocution for murder during an armed robbery, Ferdinando Nicola Sacco wrote a letter to his son Dante. “Whatever should happen tomorrow, nobody knows,” the doomed anarchist wrote from his jailhouse cell in Charlestown State Prison in Boston. “But if they kill us,” he wrote, he encouraged his son to remember always to smile with gratitude at the friends and “fallen persecuted comrades” who love him. He urged Dante to be strong so as to comfort his mother, and to do as he once had – “take her for a long walk in the quiet country, gathering wildflowers” and “rest under the shade of trees between the harmony of the vivid stream and the gentle tranquility of mother nature.” http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/SaccoV/sacltrchar.html In 1950, folk singer Pete Singer wrote a song, “Sacco’s Letter To His Son.” http://www.peteseeger.net/sacco.htm

One thought on “Dispatches: Dear Son (Letters From George Patton and Ferdinando Sacco)

  1. <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> <HTML><HEAD> <META content=text/html;charset=utf-8 http-equiv=Content-Type> <META name=GENERATOR content="MSHTML 9.00.8112.16455"></HEAD> <BODY style="BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; FONT-STYLE: normal; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none; PADDING-LEFT: 10px; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; COLOR: #000000; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-WEIGHT: normal; TEXT-DECORATION: none; PADDING-TOP: 15px" id=MailContainerBody leftMargin=0 topMargin=0 acc_role="text" CanvasTabStop="true" name="Compose message area"><!–[gte IE 5]><?xml:namespace prefix="v" /><?xml:namespace prefix="o" /><![endif]–> <DIV> <DIV>Hi Bob. I’m looking forward to a book to come out of all these wonderful letters, both the historical ones and the contemporary ones. Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday and a happy and healthy new year. All best, Sally</DIV> <DIV>——————————-<BR>Sally Wendkos Olds<BR>75 West End Ave., apt. C6A, New York, NY 10023<BR>Tel: 212-600-0623&nbsp; Cell: 516-456-7738<BR>Email: <A title=mailto:WendkosOlds@alumni.upenn.edu href="mailto:WendkosOlds@alumni.upenn.edu">WendkosOlds@alumni.upenn.edu</A><BR>Website: <A title=http://www.sallywendkosolds.com/ href="http://www.SallyWendkosOlds.com">www.SallyWendkosOlds.com</A><BR>Author, The Complete Book of Breastfeeding, 4th edition (Workman, September 2010)<BR>Author, Super Granny (Sterling, 2009)<BR>Blog: Super Granny at <A title=http://omasally.blogspot.com/ href="http://omasally.blogspot.com">http://omasally.blogspot.com</A></DIV&gt; <BLOCKQUOTE style="BORDER-LEFT: #000000 2px solid; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px"> <DIV style="FONT: 10pt arial"></DIV></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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