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The Most Famous Editorial
NY Sun (via NY Daily News) ^ | Sept. 21, 1897 | Francis P. Church

Posted on 12/24/2014 11:32:56 AM PST by Old Sarge

Hard to believe that this much time has passed. On Christmas Eve 2004, I shared this editorial with all my FRiends here, while I was icebound in West Virginia heading back from leave to report for mobilization.

And then, on Christmas Eve 2005, while downrange in Ramadi, Iraq, I shared this editorial with all of you again.

And this year once again, from our new digs in Florida with The Bride and my new family, I offer this beautiful story, a very favorite of mine, for all my FRiends again. Take the time to read it - REALLY read it - and take to heart this simple message from down through the years.

A Old Soldier's Merry Christmas to you all!


TOPICS: History; Society
KEYWORDS: 115west95thstreet; christmas; francispchurch; godsgravesglyphs; newyork; newyorkcity; newyorksun; santaclaus; virginiaohanlon
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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 12/24/2014 11:32:56 AM PST by Old Sarge
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To: Kathy in Alaska; Bride Of Old Sarge; StarCMC; MS.BEHAVIN; LUV W; AZamericonnie; laurenmarlowe; ...


2 posted on 12/24/2014 11:34:41 AM PST by Old Sarge (Its the Sixties all over again, but with crappy music...)
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To: Old Sarge

I never tire of this being posted. Thanks!


3 posted on 12/24/2014 11:43:59 AM PST by Huskrrrr
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To: Old Sarge

Thanks again for posting the response to Virginia. It certainly is
heartwarming. I believe in Santa, mainly because I can hear “him”
upstairs wrapping presents for tomorrow. ;-)

It’s really neat that we all get presents on Jesus Christ’s Birthday,
the most important gift is Jesus Himself. God bless you, Sir!
And thank you for your service, and for being a really cool dude.


4 posted on 12/24/2014 11:45:31 AM PST by TheOldLady
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To: TheOldLady

You’re makin’ me blush, Lady!


5 posted on 12/24/2014 11:46:43 AM PST by Old Sarge (Its the Sixties all over again, but with crappy music...)
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To: Old Sarge; Jim Robinson; appalachian_dweller; OldPossum; DuncanWaring; VirginiaMom; CodeToad; ...

Says it all reminds us all of what is is really about.

Merry Christmas!

6 posted on 12/24/2014 12:01:42 PM PST by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: Old Sarge

This has always been one of my favorite Christmas readings. (And among my favorite Christmas movies is “Prancer”, with Sam Elliot.)

JT


7 posted on 12/24/2014 12:02:24 PM PST by Jamestown1630 ("A Republic, if you can keep it.")
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To: Old Sarge

And your rosy cheeks are quite attractive.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear man.


8 posted on 12/24/2014 12:29:44 PM PST by TheOldLady
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To: Old Sarge
MERRY CHRISTMAS,
Sarge and Bride!

9 posted on 12/24/2014 12:31:38 PM PST by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: Old Sarge

It never gets old.


10 posted on 12/24/2014 12:37:59 PM PST by Islander7 (There is no septic system so vile, so filthy, the left won't drink from to further their agenda)
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To: Kartographer

11 posted on 12/24/2014 12:46:09 PM PST by Godzilla (3/7/77)
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To: Old Sarge

Thank you for posting this. I was just talking about this childhood “faith” thing with a friend of mine this morning.


12 posted on 12/24/2014 1:16:28 PM PST by verga
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To: Old Sarge

Thanks for remembering to post this.


13 posted on 12/24/2014 3:08:24 PM PST by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light..... Isaiah 5:20)
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To: Old Sarge
Merry Christmas...
14 posted on 12/24/2014 3:16:34 PM PST by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -w- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Chode

Backatcha, Uncle Chode!


15 posted on 12/24/2014 3:17:42 PM PST by Old Sarge (Its the Sixties all over again, but with crappy music...)
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To: no-to-illegals

Merry Christmas to you and yours, N.T.I!


16 posted on 12/24/2014 3:18:18 PM PST by Old Sarge (Its the Sixties all over again, but with crappy music...)
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To: Kartographer

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Kart!


17 posted on 12/24/2014 3:18:47 PM PST by Old Sarge (Its the Sixties all over again, but with crappy music...)
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To: Old Sarge

Thanks for posting!


18 posted on 12/24/2014 4:44:39 PM PST by MV=PY (The Magic Question: Who's paying for it?)
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To: Old Sarge

Thanks, (((Sarge)))
for continuing the tradition!
Gather 'round the fire
...and have a lovely Christmas!

19 posted on 12/24/2014 4:48:33 PM PST by LUV W (All my heroes wear camos! Thank you David, Michael, Chris, Txradioguy, JJ, CMS, & ALL Vets, too!)
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To: Old Sarge
Love the story. Thanks, Sarge, for posting it again...and again.


20 posted on 12/24/2014 5:06:24 PM PST by Kathy in Alaska (((~ RIP Brian...heaven's gain...the Coast Guard lost a good one.~)))
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