Letter from Tom Sun to Dr. Alfred E. Stearns, December 15, 1937


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Letter from Tom Sun to Dr. Alfred E. Stearns, December 15, 1937


Letter from Tom Sun to Dr. Alfred E. Stearns, December 15, 1937


I5th, December, 1937

My dear Mr. and Mrs. Stearns

I have before me two letters from you which touch me deeply by its kindness. I hesitate to remark on them because I feel that it is beyond my ability to put down in words my feeling of appreciation. However, I will say that they constitute the only two rays of friendship and kindness that the sharpest pair of eyes can gather from the much disturbed horizon. Your offer of bountiful hospitality touches one that above the clouds there is still something finer and greater in this world of ours so as to leave us yet another ray of hope for the brotherhood, of all an at a time when discouragement and disillusion push us to the brim of pessimism.

It is not that my reluctant declination of your hospitality an unwillingness of my part to part with the children, but it Is the realization that during those troublous times one feels more assured to have all one's loved ones near at hand. Day to day existence has few luxuries and whatever little there is left of it is being enjoyed to the fullest extent. At any rate they will be worthless of your generosity and kindness. Nevertheless I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and my little family joins me to extend to you our profoundest gratitude and appreciation.

It is unnecessary for me to elaborate the inner thoughts running through the minds of everyone of us, and it should be sufficient to say that the finer things in life are being replaced by things of ghastly appearance - its extent being even undreamt of by Him to whom we all owe allegiance. Things beautiful and peaceful are being removed by stark realities of which we have only read hut never saw till now.Things forced us to turn away, things obligating us to forget ourselves, and things pushing us on into even greater grotesquely deeds are changing the meaning of life to which most of us hold dear. One often wonders why doesn't one throw up his hands in despair and proclaim that if such is the thing that man has learned, let me be a beast.

At times like these one tends to wander his mind to days of happier background. I can still remember the night when I stepped off in Andover from the train now seventeen years ago. You were there and later piloted us to the home where we all, and I in particular, spent many receptive days. I still remember the days spent in Stowe school, and then Andover, and hence to Middlebury and Yale. Some of those days wore anything but easy, but as one grows in years and experience, these become an inseparable part of an indispensable education. I had hopes, then. High hopes But now all is empty except the inner will. Where are the things which are said to be fine and beautiful? Where are the things for which we are taught respect?

My father and his family are still in Tientsin and by the latest reports he is still in good health. As for Arthur and Mary, they are still in Shanghai and Peiping respectively. Although we have tried to gather all together, but for some reason or the other, we have never been successful. However, in the near future, if circumstances permit, we shall have another attempt.

My little family is well, or as well as an be expected under the circumstances. I have, as you know, two boys aged two and four. Happily they are still in their innocent and ignorant days. I shall certainly do my best to bring then up in the best atmosphere possible. Our home is in a comparatively safe zone at the present writing. I am up against the difficulty in that I am the sole dependent of my entire little family all members of whom are extremely young and quite inexperienced in what you might say worldly ways. However, I have been getting along, and barring things unforeseen, we should get along even through this crisis, although with the attendant uncertainty.

Please accept my whole-hearted thanks and appreciation for your most generous offer. I regret that I shall be unable for reasons as above to avail myself of the privilege, but I shall keep this kindness in my heart and shall not forget the motive which prompted it in the years to come. My wife joins me to extend to you our most sincere greetings of the season in grateful appreciation.

yours most sincerely


Tom Sun


Phillips Academy


December 15, 1937


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