This is part of our “Letters from War” series documenting the World War II letters of Irvin Schwartz of Pine Grove, PA. The letters were all published in the West Schuylkill Press-Herald between 1943 and 1945.
June 22, 1945
Dear Miss Bashore:
We have said farewell to “Another GI.” General Eisenhower has left for the “land of the brave.”
Right now it is a historical homecoming for the Texas-born and Kansas-bred American soldier whose fate it was to lead an Allied force to victory in Europe in the greatest of all wars. It is likely to be the greatest ever.
Over on this side of the Atlantic we are still saying “goodbye,” although he is already in the home country. Soldiers and Wacs here in the European theatre bid farewell while “THE STARS AND STRIPES” – our daily newspaper – is each day paying tribute to the man of all times. I feel that he deserves some space in our hometown paper.
A few days ago he was honored in London and more recently in Paris. Now it’s Washington and New York with many more to come.
To those at home who welcome him, he will be the Supreme Commander, five stars and all.
To the millions who served under him he will always be “Ike,” and that is the way he will be remembered by his men. Just another soldier with many of our feelings and problems, hopes and dreams, the spokesman for our ideals. He will be the five-starred leader who was proud to be accepted into the inner circle of his soldiers as “just another GI.”
“Ike” has gone home but we, here in what was his overseas home for so long a time, are forced to make a certain remark and say, “We would like to have him.”
But we have told him “farewell” and whatever celebrations and homecoming are being bestowed upon him at present we would like to say in GI language, “it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.”
The bulk of this letter more or less composes an excerpt taken from a special editorial published in honor of General Eisenhower in our own “STARS AND STRIPES.” It pays him fine tribute, but no one person or group of persons can never repay him too greatly for his past services.
“Never before in human conflict has there been so much owed by so many to so few.”
Tech. Sgt. Irvin R. Schwartz,
U.S. Third Army
P.S. – I have recently seen Nurnberg Stadium, the scene of the Nazis’ annual rally and the home of the Nazi regime. Despite the fact that most of this big city is virtually lowered to ground level, few of our bombs and artillery shells hit the stadium proper, so the damage was slight.
I found the ground ripped up by our heavy tanks when they took the city and at sections of the arena, the grass has grown as high as seven feet. I traveled to Nurnberg by jeep and I drove the famed Autobahn – the superhighway – which runs from Munich to Berlin.
P.S. in the Sports World – Congratulations to Mr. Carmine Pepe on his third straight great Pine Grove High School baseball team. I’ll finally be back in the stands next season, Coach.
Featured Image: General Dwight Eisenhower in 1945 – National Archives