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To Mrs. Rose Lumetta
June 28, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mrs. Lumetta:
I have your letter of June 24th and am sorry that you are so disturbed and angry over the possibility of your son’s remaining in the Army beyond one year.1 The War Department does not wish to keep your boy or any of the others in the service for one day longer than is necessary for the safety of the country, but it is impossible to tell at this time what that necessity is. It depends upon world conditions which change so rapidly that no one knows what the next 24 hours will bring forth. Unless the military situation becomes very acute the bulk of the selectees will be sent home after they complete their year of service. Some in key positions may be needed so badly that authority will be requested to retain them in service.
Millions of European mothers would be offering grateful prayers of thanksgiving if the only sacrifice they were called upon to make for their country was to be separated from their sons by a few hundred peaceful miles. To preserve that peace is our sole objective.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Lumetta questioned whether she could address Marshall as “dear sir” considering the chief of staff’s intention to extend the term of service for selectees. “If you do that,” she wrote, “you will have the hatred of every mother, wife and sweethearts and also the boys themselves.” (Lumetta to Marshall, June 24, 1941, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), p. 553.