December 4th, 2009 | 11:18 am

One of the Monuments Men we admire most is Walker Hancock. Walker married his wife, Saima, on December 4, 1943 in a chapel at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. He was shipped out to Europe just three weeks later. He wrote her a very touching letter for their first anniversary, which is shown below. This letter, and many others like it, are included in The Monuments Men.


Letter from Walker Hancock

To his new wife, Saima

December 4, 1944

Precious Saima,

This is the great day of our lives—the anniversary of the happiest one in mine. And if I loved you a year ago today, I do so many times more this fourth of December. For even though we have spent such a small part of this year together, we have been together the whole time in the best sense, and you have helped me and nourished me through these interesting but trying months in a way that you would hardly have had the opportunity to do in a happy normal life at home. That will come, and our joys will be boundless, but what you have been to me during these months of separation is something that I never could have imagined without the experience. Your letters have been my mainstay. Just the simple account of what you do and think—and between letters I think about you.


Today has been rather a grind—and one of those days when one seems to have just missed accomplishing something all along the line. But I hope I’ll be able to make up for it during the week. One just has to learn that things have to be done a little bit at a time in the army—and it doesn’t pay to bite off more than can be chewed. The howling mob that moved in on us while we were in Luxuembourg have now left – and  we have a few “casuals” that drift in and out. It’s much better, but I still want those ear plugs. Tonight I’m trying sleeping in a bed with a mattress! What good news about Teddy! I’m so glad he has his wings and i’m proud, though I didn’t doubt for a minute that he would win them.

There’s a Polish soldier sitting on the bunk beside me, saying that this will be his sixth Christmas in the army and away from his people. He’s pretty discouraged—but we are guaranteeing him this will be the last away from home.

Tomorrow or the next day I expect to see George Stout. I wonder if he will be coming back to the First Army. I hope so, for there is more work than I can keep up with at present. Worlds of love to you—you sweet creature—I love you—


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4 Responses to “LOVE LETTER FROM A HERO”

  1. Sherrie Ziegler says:

    I have been reading The Monuments of Men recentley and this letter is the the most touching I have ever read. If only all men loved this much in this day and age what a world we would live in.

  2. John says:

    As always, your post is insightful plus skillfully written

  3. This topic was very informative and well written. I plan to do some more research on this. Thanks for sharing this timely information. We need more like this.

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