Almost 70 years after it was written, A World War II soldier’s letter to his daughter has finally made it home, according to a story from the Associated Press.
During an emotional ceremony this Saturday in Dayton Nevada, Peggy Eddington-Smith received a letter written to her by her father, Pfc. John Eddington, shortly before he was killed in Italy in 1944. Eddington-Smith had never met her father, since she was born while her father was overseas.
“The letter gave me more knowledge of who he was,” she told the AP. “He poured out his heart to me, and a lot of men don’t put that kind of emotion into writing. I’m just overwhelmed by everything, trying to absorb everything.”
The letter was discovered in a box when Donna Gregory of St. Louis, Missouri was helping her husband clean out his grandparents’ home.
Addressing his “darling” daughter, Pfc. Eddington wrote that although she may not see him “for some time,” he wanted her to know that he was always thinking of her. “I love you so much,” the letter says. “Your mother and daddy […] are going to give you everything we can. We will always give you all the love we have.”
Eddington asked his daughter to “always treat your mother right. You have the sweetest mother on earth.”
In closing, he wrote, “I love you with all my heart and soul forever and forever. Your loving daddy.”
Although Eddington-Smith knew her father was killed in the war, she never knew of the letter and other contents of the box, which included 16 letters from her father that were addressed to her mother. Her mother, Helen, never remarried and passed away in 1997.
“I would ask my mother why she didn’t get remarried and her only comment was that she found the perfect man and will never again find the perfect man.”