~ Prologue ~
April 11, 1951; President Harry S. Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur of his command, ostensibly for ‘insubordination.’ Eight days later, General MacArthur has just concluded his nationally televised Farewell Address to Congress – a speech that was profound in its meaning as well as its nostalgia. The following was carefully written and crafted within minutes of the conclusion of the broadcast.
The Honorable Harry S. Truman
President of the United States of America
Dear Mr. President
You have today, an unprecedented opportunity to make a tremendous contribution to the defeat of Communism, to the unity of the nation, and to the establishment of Harry S. Truman, in history as a great man and patriot.
These a attainments will be secured by your addressing the nation this evening, approximately as follows:
“We have heard today, as a nation, a statement from a magnificent man, soldier, statesman, administrator, and above all, a patriot who certainly ranks with the greatest in our proud history.
It is impossible that there was one American listening, who did not at once feel the inadequacy of his own contribution to the welfare of his country when compared with the whole and complete devotion of this great man, General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur.
Your president felt all this keenly as General MacArthur spoke. His high devotion to his country and everything it stands for was far more eloquent than the words he chose. All of us – and I as well – can learn much from this great America.
I feel therefore, that it is my duty to invite him to participate as my special aide in the formation of all polices henceforth, so that his great knowledge experience, wisdom and devotional inspiration will be conserved in this great fight for humanity.
Let us all now, go forth and give all possible aid and support – every hour of each day to our country and this crusade to secure the dignity and liberty of man.
Let each of us weigh our every deed and word, as I shall certainly do myself, against the the great example set for us by General Mac Arthur, in this fight for civilization.
Let all free men take heed everywhere. Although our concept of freedom allows us to differ in our means of obtaining our proper objectives, my action in this denotes our resolute solidarity – our united readiness and implacable stand in the path of any aggression which may deprive one man, wherever he may be, of his just rights and freedom.
Let no man or nation ever underestimate us in this resolution.”
Very respectfully yours,
~ Postlogue ~
Edwin James Cole was born May 21, 1903 in Harvard Illinois, would become a world renown architect and furniture designer, spending many years as Vice-President in charge of design for the Stiffel Lamp Company of Chicago.
There is no evidence in the archives that President Truman ever responded to the author’s letter of recommendation, either by letter nor deed in the manner of his relations with the General. Mr. Cole would write many letters to persons of import and power (as his grandson has also done). Edwin Cole passed away on May 10, 1992. The Editor and Publisher of Metropolis Café is his grandson.