Maxine Clamage Letters to a Lost Soldier – Flag Day 1945 and Summer Vacation Plans Dear Daddy, (I originally wrote in June, 1945) We sang songs after The Pledge Allegiance to the Flag on Flag Day at school.

One went like this: “You’re a grand old flag, you’re a high-flying flag, and forever in peace may you wave. You’re the emblem of the land I love, the home of the free and the brave. Ev’ry heart beats true for the Red, White and Blue, where there’s never a boast or brag. But should auld acquaintance be forgot, keep your eye on the grand old flag.”

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Our teacher read President Truman’s Proclamation 2654 about Flag Day: “We celebrate our Flag Day this year with a fresh sense of our strength as a nation. Solemnly, we accept the responsibilities placed upon us by our power.” We talked in class about flying the American flag instead of the Nazi flag because our armed forces defeated the enemy in Germany. We want to conquer the Japanese and finish up going to war.


You said when you came home from the war, Daddy, that we are a democratic republic and it’s our duty as citizens to be aware and vote when we are eligible. “Write to the President, Maxine, and other elected officials, praise them for good work they do and criticize them when they fall short. Be an informed citizen, which is your responsibility in a democracy."

President Truman said, “As we press forward to final victory, we are strengthened with the knowledge that for millions of people in other lands as well as in our own, our Flag is a living token of human integrity and freedom.” I’m lucky to live in the United States of America.

I feel sorry for children under Hitler or those living today under Hirohito. I learned in school that our Constitution provides everyone in our country with liberty and justice for all. Jewish people have the same rights as everyone else because we are American citizens. What a wonderful country we call home.

I am grateful your parents and Mommy’s parents immigrated to America from England and Russian and that you, Mommy, my sister and I were born here. Walking home from school today, I saw American flags waving in Chicago. Thank you for installing a bracket outside our front window and flying a flag as our neighbors do. We are all proud to be American citizens. It’s time for vacation from school!

Do we want to spend another summer in Chicago when the weather is hot and muggy? Mommy won’t let us go swimming in a pool because of the polio epidemic. I heard you talk with her about going to a family resort at Michigan City, Indiana or Benton Harbor, Michigan, where we’ve been before.

We can have so much fun at a resort, playing on the beach and in the waters of Lake Michigan, far away from Chicago. I remember we played shuffleboard, ping-pong and other games and laughed at lot. A vacation there will help you heal from all your war injuries. When your furlough is over, you might not be sent to Japan. President Truman wants the war in the Pacific to end soon so we don’t lose more American lives.

I have more reasons than anyone to pray for the final victory there. I don’t want you to pick up a rifle again. Flag Day is also the 170th anniversary of the U.S. Army, founded in 1775. I know you had a terrible experience serving in the Army in Europe and being captured by the Nazis as a Prisoner of War.

But some good did result from your service. You helped protect our country from invasion which could have happened if Hitler managed to conquer England, steal the British navy ships and come here to get us. I’m glad he lost the war! I’ll leave this letter where you can see it, instead of hiding it in a book as I’ve done before.

I want to remind you that the whole family needs a nice summer vacation at a resort on Lake Michigan. Think of the gentle breezes there. Love, Maxine
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