Pat­ton Christ­mas cards now avail­able from 6th Cav­alry Mu­seum

The Catoosa County News - - EDITORIALS & OPINION - By Ta­mara Wolk Cor­re­spon­dent

The year was 1944, the place, cen­tral Europe. It was a week be­fore Christ­mas. The Ger­man Army had launched a sur­prise at­tack on the Al­lies that came to be known as the Bat­tle of the Bulge. The weather con­di­tions were ter­ri­ble — cold, snowy, a heavy cloud cover. The Al­lies in the thick of the bat­tle were run­ning low on sup­plies.

Gen. George Pat­ton’s Third Army was on the way to help, but it was a 100-mile march and slow go­ing in the aw­ful weather.

Pat­ton had an idea. He asked his chap­lain to write a prayer and he had 250,000 copies of it printed and dis­trib­uted to soldiers. He added his own mes­sage of en­cour­age­ment and hol­i­day greetings to it.

“Almighty and most mer­ci­ful Fa­ther,” the prayer started, “we humbly be­seech thee to re­strain these im­mod­er­ate rains. … Grant us fair weather for Bat­tle … (that) we may ad­vance and crush the op­pres­sion and wicked­ness of our en­e­mies …”

The weather un­ex­pect­edly cleared, air forces were able to move in and the Third Army reached its ob­jec­tive the day af­ter Christ­mas.

One of the orig­i­nal Pat­ton prayer cards is on display at the 6th Cav­alry Mu­seum in Fort Oglethorpe and in­spired an orig­i­nal Christ­mas card by the mu­seum each year.

This year’s card fea­tures a paint­ing on the front by lo­cal artist Durinda Cheek. Cheek is a 6th Cav­alry Mu­seum board mem­ber and daugh­ter of the late Harry E. Copeland, one of the found­ing mem­bers of the mu­seum. Cheek has painted an orig­i­nal piece for the mu­seum’s Pat­ton Christ­mas card each year for four years now.

On the re­verse side the Christ­mas card is a re­pro­duc­tion of Pat­ton’s prayer card. Each or­der of cards also comes with a Pat­ton’s prayer card Christ­mas or­na­ment.

“Gen­eral Pat­ton’s grand­son en­cour­aged the mu­seum to pro­duce the card,” says Cheek, “and of course he al­ways gets the first or­der shipped.”

/ Con­trib­uted

On Nov. 8, Caris Health­care and a team of peo­ple from lo­cal vet­er­ans groups and schools hon­ored vet­er­ans at two nurs­ing homes: NHC Health­care in Fort Oglethorpe and NHC Health­care in Rossville. From left: Larry Palmer and David Broyles of Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 95.

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