“My dear Mr. La Prade,” 1943

I had hoped to post this yesterday for Memorial Day but found myself far from any internet connection. Even today I don’t have access to photoshop so I can’t set the scan straight. But I found this letter so moving that I’m going to post it as is, with apologies. I came across it recently, quite unexpected among a box of unrelated material.

It’s a letter from Dr. Lovett to the family of Lieutenant Robert La Prade ’42, who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his actions in combat on Guadalcanal. A sadder letter I can hardly imagine:

LaPrade letter 2046

Here’s my original post from Christmas two years ago about Lieutenant La Prade.

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4 Responses to “My dear Mr. La Prade,” 1943

  1. Bill Peebles, Hanszen '70 says:

    I wonder, are letters like this still written?

  2. Kathleen Amen '71 says:

    That is such an eloquent letter! I never know what to say in such situations, but might find some inspiration here. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  3. George Webb says:

    Condolences letters of the period 1850-1950 are impressive to read. Invariably, they follow certain principles that people today would do well to remember: they include a personal recollection if authentic, but do not if not; they do not pretend to minimize the loss; they do not contain empty promises; and while they may express a wish for comfort, they do not offer psychological advice. Good rules to follow.

  4. One of the best and most famous (and my personal model) is the letter of George V in May 1935 to A.W. Lawrence on the death of his brother, the great Lawrence of Arabia, in a motorcycle accident at age 46: “Your brother’s name will live in history, and the King gratefully recognizes his distinguished services to his country, and feels that it is tragic that the end should have come in this manner to a life still so full of promise.”

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