DECEMBER 24, 1951
En Route from PARIS, Sunday—Shortly before leaving for New York I received a very nice letter from a French couple who live in Paris. I think many people in the United States would like the message it carries at this time, so I translate part of it.
Madame begins by saying that she takes the opportunity of my being in Paris to express the thanks which many French people feel who will not write me. She continues: "Yes, thanks to your great country in the name of all those who do not forget its great goodness and great generosity. . . Thanks for those who do not forget what your country has done so that ours might live and what you are still doing so we can have peace and preserve our liberty. Thanks to every American citizen who accepts so many sacrifices so that this liberty may live. I think with great emotion and affectionate gratitude of your soldiers who died here that we might live happily again. Forgive me, but I could not resist, so near the Christmas day, expressing to you what is in my heart. My husband joins me in gratitude."
A letter like that should be shared by the people of the United States. It is written not to me but to them, and I put it in this column in the hope that many of them will read it and be glad that their sacrifices have been so deeply appreciated by the French people.
Traveling by air in winter in Europe is a decidedly unsatisfactory method of transportation, but from all I hear the crossing by steamer this past week has been so bad that perhaps one should not complain. I am told that those who left Europe on the "America" last Saturday will not arrive in New York until Monday noon, so with luck there is a chance that some of us may reach New York City sooner by air.
Miss Thompson and I were supposed to leave Paris for Amsterdam and to go from there to New York on Friday in the early evening. An hour before we were to board the plane we were told that nothing would fly out of Paris and Amsterdam, but perhaps we could get the 9 p.m. TWA plane direct from Paris to New York. We were still waiting at 11 p.m., when we were told the plane was still in Rome and that we would be notified at 3:30 a.m. when we would leave. Finally, at 9 o'clock on Saturday morning we were told we would leave at 1:45 p.m. and that prognostications were for clear weather all along the way into New York.
Our rejoicing did not last long, however, for an hour later we were told that the plane was again delayed and that we would have to await further notice. This seems to be happening to all planes; and since Air France has a strike, many passengers going by that line are probably clamoring for seats on all the other lines. As I write this column, however, it looks as if we will manage to arrive by Sunday after all.