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The Most Famous Editorial
Newseum.org ^ | Sept. 21, 1897 | Francis P. Church

Posted on 12/24/2005 8:27:57 PM PST by Old Sarge

Last Christmas, I shared this editorial with all my FRiends here, while I was icebound in West Virginia heading back from leave to report for mobilization.

This year, at my station in Ramadi, Iraq, on Christmas morning, as tracer rounds thread the sky southeast of me, I offer this simple story, a very favorite of mine, for all my FRiends again. Take the time to read it - REALLY read it - and understand that Santa has visited your troops, and he left the greatest gift of them all.

A Soldier's Merry Christmas to you all!


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: christmas; faith; francischurch; francispchurch; iraq; santa; santaclaus; soldier; yesvirginia
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Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. "Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. "Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.' "Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

"VIRGINIA O'HANLON. "115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measure by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest man that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank GOD! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

1 posted on 12/24/2005 8:27:58 PM PST by Old Sarge
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; StarCMC; Kathy in Alaska; bentfeather; tomkow6; MoJo2001; HiJinx; ...
My Christmas Message to all my FRiends.


2 posted on 12/24/2005 8:29:38 PM PST by Old Sarge (In a Hole in the Ground, there Lived a Fobbit...)
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To: Old Sarge

Merry Christmas Sarge to you and your kids. Thank you for your service to America.

*HUGS*


3 posted on 12/24/2005 8:30:59 PM PST by MoJo2001 (www.proudpatriots.org (Support Our Troops)...)
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To: Old Sarge

That is very beautiful, Sarge! Love the Christmas font. Hope you have a good, quiet day...and be sure to tell the "kids" Merry Christmas from LUV! ((((hugs)))) God bless you, hero!


4 posted on 12/24/2005 8:32:01 PM PST by LUV W (Everyone that doesn't like what America and President Bush has done for Iraq can all go to HELL.-BD)
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To: Old Sarge


Merry Christmas to you Sarge!
From the Trussell Family.

5 posted on 12/24/2005 8:33:07 PM PST by trussell (Work for God...the retirement benefits are great!)
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To: Old Sarge

I've been taking some time out from FR to wage some local political battles but I still check in from time to time.

Anyhow, I could not let Christmas Eve pass without wishing the very best to all my friends on FR. And a special Holiday Wish to Jim for all the great times here and this fantastic forum.

Merry Christmas to All!

BJungNan


6 posted on 12/24/2005 8:36:21 PM PST by BJungNan
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To: BJungNan

And the same to you and all of yours, BJN!!!


7 posted on 12/24/2005 8:38:00 PM PST by Old Sarge (In a Hole in the Ground, there Lived a Fobbit...)
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To: Old Sarge

God love you and protect you, Sarge.

Happy Jesus' Birthday to you!!!


8 posted on 12/24/2005 8:40:12 PM PST by bannie (The government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.)
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To: Jim Robinson; John Robinson; Admin Moderator; Sidebar Moderator

Merry Christmas to the staff of Freerepublic.com, from the Ramadi Chapter in Iraq (population 2)!


9 posted on 12/24/2005 8:40:25 PM PST by Old Sarge (In a Hole in the Ground, there Lived a Fobbit...)
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To: BilboB

Merry Christmas, old friend and new FRiend.


10 posted on 12/24/2005 8:41:10 PM PST by Old Sarge (In a Hole in the Ground, there Lived a Fobbit...)
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To: Old Sarge

CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS to Old Sarge and the Kids

Thank you for serving our country

11 posted on 12/24/2005 8:49:48 PM PST by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Old Sarge

Merry Christmas, Old Sarge.

Thank You, for your service to our nation.


12 posted on 12/24/2005 9:06:22 PM PST by Soaring Feather
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To: Old Sarge
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
13 posted on 12/24/2005 9:08:45 PM PST by hipaatwo
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To: Old Sarge

Thanks so much for posting this in full. You are right, it is the most famous editorial of all time, if that doesn't show the power of Santa Claus, what does?

Merry Christmas Old Sarge, and thanks for keeping me and my family safe this Christmas day.


14 posted on 12/24/2005 9:25:32 PM PST by jocon307 (Still mourning the loss of CBS FM)
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To: Old Sarge
Sarge, you get back to us safe all your toes, fingers, head and other parts save and sound to your loved ones. I have for a long time meant to private converse with you. Perhaps at the right time we shall. Being an "old boy from PA" perhaps we have much in common. One thing is for sure. I stand smartly at attention and salute you and every soldier, airmen, aviator, corpsmen, medic, doctor, nurse, Marine and all supporting individuals as you men and women continue to serve with strength, purpose, and HONOR in this noble and required mission.
May the good Lord that made all things and runs the show in the background, keep you all safe from harmsway, like a hen shields her tiny chicks covering them with her wings.
I like many here have your six. And our prayers will Lord willing bring you all home safe and sound upon completing your MO. Hang tight Sarg.
15 posted on 12/24/2005 9:26:35 PM PST by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned)
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To: Old Sarge

Merry Xmas! and a Happy New Year! God guard you and yours in whose charge they are placed.


16 posted on 12/24/2005 9:28:49 PM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: Marine_Uncle

Thanks Uncle, and the best of all back to you and yours this Christmas Day!!!


17 posted on 12/24/2005 9:38:10 PM PST by Old Sarge (In a Hole in the Ground, there Lived a Fobbit...)
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To: Old Sarge

Merry Christmas sweetie!! Big huge thank you hugs to you!! You're still my hero!


18 posted on 12/24/2005 10:17:44 PM PST by StarCMC (Old Sarge is my hero...doing it right in Iraq! Vaya con Dios, Sarge.)
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To: StarCMC

And Merry Christmas to you, my best FRiend!


19 posted on 12/24/2005 10:21:55 PM PST by Old Sarge (In a Hole in the Ground, there Lived a Fobbit...)
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To: Old Sarge

*HUGS!*


20 posted on 12/24/2005 10:22:32 PM PST by StarCMC (Old Sarge is my hero...doing it right in Iraq! Vaya con Dios, Sarge.)
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