An Irving woman got quite the surprise after recently going through some old boxes belonging to her parents.
Among some memorabilia, was a letter written to Santa by Kathleen Galvan’s father just two years after he served in World War II.
Galvan’s father, T.C. Lawrence Jr. served in the Navy as a pharmacist’s mate—which is an assistant to a medical officer.
According to notes left behind in some books, Galvan’s father moved around a lot during the Pacific Theater. Those notes say he served time in Guadalcanal, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and the Philippines.
“He was glad to come home from what I was told,” Galvan said. “Trying to figure out who his friends were after they were injured, all the shocks and bombs—I think that those were traumatizing.”
“He didn’t want that kind of thing going on anywhere in the world,” she said.
Galvan knows that fact after reading a 70-year-old letter to Santa, written by her father in 1947.
In it, he doesn’t ask for much. The first few sentences focus on Galvan’s mother and bringing her some gifts.
But as you get towards the bottom, Galvan’s dad asks for something a little more profound.
His letter reads, “For everyone else, I would like the greatest gift of all – one that is so priceless, that money cannot buy it; yet it actually costs so little, just a little bit of effort and understanding.”
It continues saying, “So on your way around the world in every house, whether it be Christian, Jewish, Muhammadan, Buddhist or even Atheist, would you please give each that priceless gift the angels sang about just 1,950 years ago? ‘Peace on earth and goodwill towards men.’”
It’s a simple wish that Galvan is proud to read over and over again.
“It was very refreshing, I was shocked that anybody could think that way in the mid-20th century because we still don’t think that way in the 21st century,” Galvan said.
“I believe everyone should read that because we are so divisive now."
Galvan says she’ll now be putting up the letter as a decoration every year. And this holiday season, she says she’ll be following in her father’s footsteps by putting others ahead of herself.
“I think we need to focus on getting together and trying to understand each other,” Galvan said.
“We need to just accept people.”
Editor’s note: The term Muhammadan has been replaced widely by followers of the Muslim faith since the 1950s.