Today is December 7. To some, it's just another day. To Americans in 1944 it was the day that brought the realities of World War II into their lives and forever changed the fabric of this nation.
My mother's family was like so many others. My grandfather soon left for training in the Army, and eventually was one of the many soldiers who fought their way so bravely onto the shores at Normandy. He would spend the next few years in France, Belgium and the Rhineland as Allied troops fought to defeat the Nazis.
Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Chandler in 1943
He left a week-old baby girl here in America, and did not see her again until she was three. She was on his mind, though, and he wrote letters when he could although many arrived with portions censored.
Christmas of 1944 he managed to get a sergeant in his unit to buy a doll in Paris to send back home to his baby girl.
She always kept it carefully wrapped and put away. I only remember seeing it a few times.
This Christmas, my mother gave it to me.
A treasure that not only brings back so many wonderful memories of my "Pappaw" Chandler, but also honors the sacrifice so many have made for the cause of freedom.
A precious gift that is truly priceless...
My beautiful mother and grandmother
Remember this season so many who have sacrificed through the years so that we can freely celebrate Christmas. Let us take the responsibilities that come with freedom seriously. Let us never forget.