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Excerpts of Love Through Decades Past

On Valentine’s Day, love surrounds those who are fortunate enough to have found it, while the rest of us may find ourselves annoyed by the online posts of dinner dates, flowers, chocolates, and teddy bears. As irritating as it can be at times, true love and dedication to another is certainly something to be celebrated and to aspire for. Because of this, we’ve collected excerpts from love letters, songs, quotes, and books that go hand-in-hand with the history they belong to.

On July 28, 1914, Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, and World War I began. Cecil Slack served as an officer with the East Yorkshire Regiment, a line infantry regiment in the British Army. As he was fighting in WWI, Slack wrote home to his then-fiancee, Dora Willatt.

 

My Dear Dora,

For a long time before asking you to marry me I had been thinking things over and I was and am quite certain of my own feelings. But I feel a rotter for asking you when I did. I ought to have waited, for one thing, until the war was over, and for another until I had more idea of your feelings. As it is I have given you a shock and have kindled feelings which should not have been aroused. I am sorry and yet I am glad.

You asked me to be quite sure I was not influenced by any excitement of the moment. I was not. I have loved you ever since I was at Rydal. A schoolboy love then – it often happens to schoolboys and then dies out. Mine did not die.

You ask me how much I love you. All I can say is that I just love you with my whole heart…

Goodbye,
Love from Cecil

2nd Lieutenant Cecil Slack to Dora Willatt 

In the 1930’s, Irving Berlin composed songs that ultimately made him the best American songwriter of all time. For the movie Top Hat staring Fred Astaire, Berlin wrote “Cheek to Cheek.”

 

fredHeaven, I’m in heaven,
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing, cheek to cheek…

Oh! I love to climb a mountain,
And to reach the highest peak,
But it doesn’t thrill me half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek

Oh! I love to go out fishing
In a river or a creek,
But I don’t enjoy it half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek

Dance with me
I want my arm about you
The charm about you
Will carry me through to heaven

Cheek to Cheek, Irving Berlin

The television show, I Love Lucy aired in the 1950’s and became one of the most beloved house-hold pleasures of the century.

 

“Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead.” − Lucille Ball

During the 1960’s Allen Paul served as sergeant with Company D, 1st Cavalry Division in the Vietnam War.

 

My Dearest Bev,

For the last week we have been waiting for an attack, and last night it came in full force. Honey, I was never so scared in my life. We got hit by 12 mortars and rockets, and some even hit our ammo dumps, which really hurt the battery. A mortar landed about 30 feet from me and I was lucky enough to have my head down, but the sergeant next to me didn’t, and we think he lost an eye. We got three men seriously hurt and four others shaken up by the blast. This was my first real look at war, and it sure was an ugly sight. I helped carry some of the wounded away, and boy, I sure hope I don’t have to do that again. It was an experience you can never explain in a million words.

The noise from shooting is enough to drive a person crazy. Even after the attack last night, we had to stay up and wait for a ground attack which, lucky for us, never came. We expect to catch a lot of hell through May because it seems that the VC are really putting a big push on.

Bev, I was so surprised last night to see that the men here were willing to risk their own lives to save a buddy’s. It really makes you have faith in people again, but I hope I don’t have to go through what we did last night in a long time (like never!)

I take your picture out quite often and just look at it, because it’s such a relief from this pitiful place to see such a beautiful being. I am thinking of you always.

All my love,
Al

To the heartbreak of countless fans, the Beatles officially broke up after Paul McCartney left the band on April 10, 1970.

 

beatlesI’ve just seen a face,
I can’t forget the time or place
Where we just met.
She’s just the girl for me
And I want all the world to see
We’ve met, mmm-mmm.

Had it been another day
I might have looked the other way
And I’d have never been aware.
But as it is I’ll dream of her
Tonight

Falling, yes I am falling,
And she keeps calling
Me back again.

I have never known
The like of this, I’ve been alone
And I have missed things
And kept out of sight
But other girls were never quite
Like this, di-di-di-di’n’di.
Falling, yes I am falling,
And she keeps calling
Me back again.

I’ve Just Seen a Face, the Beatles

In 1987, The Princess Bride, a romantic comedy film adapted from William Goldman’s novel, made its debut in theaters.

 

“Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.” – Westley, The Princess Bride

 

In 1998, the movie Good Will Hunting, won two Oscars, a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Sadly, beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams passed away in 2014.


robin-williams“I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much.” – Robin Williams as Sean Maguire, 
Good Will Hunting

“Excerpts of Love Through Decades Past,” by Michelle Mendoza, Amada Blog Contributor

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