Letters to a Lost Soldier – President George Washington loved his country

Dear Daddy,
(I originally wrote to you in February, 1945) George Washington’s Birthday is soon and we are studying about his contribution to our nation. He is called the “Father of Our Country,”  It’s only a story that he cut down a cherry tree and said, “I cannot tell a lie,” but the truth is he led our troops to victory during the War of Independence as leader of the Continental Army. He was unanimously elected twice to be our First President. 
President Washington did not want to be called ‘king, his highness, or his exalted high mightiness,” only the President of the United States and Mr. President.  You may have been taught about him when you were a student in Chicago, Daddy, and I want you to know what I am learning in school and reading in the Encyclopedia Britannica at home.
I am lucky to be living here and thankful that you love our country and are serving in the US Army, but I feel sad that men died fighting to preserve our liberty. I now understand our need to have armed forces protecting us against tyrants.
President Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin are meeting in Yalta to discuss Europe’s post-war reorganization.  The Allies expect to defeat Nazi Germany and have agreed to demand the Nazi’s unconditional surrender. That is good news!
I hear talk of Hitler and Haman being compared as we get ready for Purim. Mimi is creating a beautiful costume made of pale blue satin from an old dress so I can dress up as Queen Esther.  I asked if I could take a gragger to the movies and make a lot of noise when Hitler’s name is mentioned during the newsreels, but she said no. “It’s OK to shake your gragger when the name of Haman is spoken during the reading of the Megillah, and at a Purim party, but not at the movies.  The usher will tell you to leave for causing a disturbance.” Mimi plans to bake hamantashen to symbolize the defeated enemy of the Jewish people and is making a list of the ingredients she will need. 
Isn’t Hitler the same as Haman? Don’t they both want to destroy the Jews?  We know what happened to Haman and we want Hitler and the Nazis to also be punished for their sins. 
Since Purim comes right before Pesach, I found a Haggadah to read before a Seder we will be attending at the home of Aunt Miriam’s in-laws. I’m shocked to find the Jews were slaves in Egypt, but also comforted to learn that God freed them with a mighty hand.  I am praying to God to free you with a mighty hand wherever you are, so that you can come home by Pesach.
George Washington inherited slaves when he was 11 years old.  Later, he wrote in his Will six months before he died that his slaves should be freed upon his death. That happened at the end of 1799, sixty-three years before President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
I learned that George Washington wrote a letter to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island in 1790:
“For Happily the Government of the United States, which gives bigotry no sanction, persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.  He ended the letter by saying, “May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants, while everyone shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”
I hope the war ends soon, prisoners of the enemies are free, there will be no more fighting and we can live in peace. I feel protected, unafraid and glad to be living in America. I am proud that my father is among the soldiers defending our liberty and justice for all.  At first I was sad that you left home to join the United States Army, but now I understand why.  Thank you, Daddy.
Love,
Maxine