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Artifact Friday: 1943 Christmas Card

Happy Friday! But at the same time Happy December the 1st! AAMM is kicking off the Christmas season by introducing a special artifact from our collection.

It is a 1943 Christmas card that was sent to Private George Sewak while he was serving in the Army.

George Sewak was a native of Pennsylvania. He grew up during the Great Depression and soon became the main breadwinner for the family after his father died. When Pearl Harbor occurred, like most young men of that day, he joined the Army.

Private Sewak loved to sketch and became quite good at it. His notebook during basic training and even overseas, is covered with drawings of comic characters, firearms, airplanes, and even battlefields.

In December 1944, Sewak was captured by the Nazi Army and was sent to a prisoner-of-war camp. He was put to work on railroads, streets, and even in the log woods. He and his fellow prisoners were liberated by American forces in April 1945.

However, this card was sent to George Sewak long before he was captured, even before he was stationed in Europe.

These cards were created to reflect the joys of the season and even the patriotism of the country. Cards were available in stores across the nation. Some, like this one, were typed instead of handwritten. Christmas cards were also available at a soldier’s local Post Exchange (PX) for them to send home to their families.

Keeping Christmas alive was important to service members as it brought a taste of comfort and home to them when they were serving so far away from their families.

Something you may not know, but it was also during this time that such Christmas favorites as Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, White Christmas, and I’ll be Home for Christmas were written. These special songs were reminders -like the Christmas cards- of home, family, and the closeness of the season.

Today, Christmas is no less important to the members of our Armed Forces and their families. If you have a chance, remember to do a little something extra to help these incredible people. This year at our very own VA in Fayetteville, the American Legion Auxiliary has a Christmas store open for veterans so they can shop for their families free of charge.

There are opportunities to donate and even volunteer! To make inquiries of donation or volunteer opportunities here please contact (201) 417-5552.

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