Current Commentary

A Letter to Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Role models that we take on in our youth make important contributions to the formation of the adults we become as we work through our individual puzzles that we call “life.” Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh were VIPs to me, as I applied form and function to my own dreams. Charles Lindbergh died in 1974. Anne Morrow Lindbergh died February 7, 2001, at the age of 94. She is survived by four of her six children — Jon, Land, Scott, and Reeve; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. On February 14, our local newspaper, The Morrison County Record, asked me to write something that would commemorate the departure of this diminutive, yet “grand” lady. I offer these comments to you, our web site visitors, because I suspect that Charles and Anne Lindbergh may have left footprints on your own lives, as well.

Chuck Stone, Web Site Developer and Manager

February 14, 2001

A Letter to
Anne Morrow Lindberg
Dear Mrs. Lindbergh:

Along with the rest of the world, we have received news of your passing. We know these latter years of your long and productive life have been difficult, confusing, and uncomfortable. But, you were surrounded by loving, caring family members until your final breath. What more could one ask for a life so well lived. Wherever your spirit may soar, please permit me to share with you some personal recollections as I attempt to measure the positive impact you have had on my own life and, without question, the lives of so many men and women on this earth.

You came to my attention for the first time in the early 1930s through pictures of you and your husband adventuring your way to Japan via the northern polar route in the Lockheed Sirius float plane. The hotel lobby in Park Rapids, Minnesota, that was my home and play room at the time, was well stocked with National Geographic magazines that followed you, wherever you traveled. The descriptions of your continuing adventures
sparked my own desire to some day, when I was old enough, become a flyer and world traveler. From that point on, I became an avid follower of developments and events relating to aviation.

As the years followed, circulating with the traveling public in the hotel lobby, I would often overhear conversations relating to events in your lives. Added to your air explorations were stories of the kidnapping, the escape to England to find a sense of family privacy, and the arguments for and against our involvement in WW II. Soon to follow was my graduation from high school and acceptance into the Army Air Corps aviation cadet program, giving me the opportunity to make that dream to fly come true.

Well, Anne, in the years that followed those dreams became my reality, and I enjoyed a twenty-year career in what became known as the United States Air Force. I kind of lost track of you for a while. You managed to stay out of the news, and I was busy with my own pressing issues. Little did I ever dream that our paths would actually cross. After retirement from the military and a few years pursuing a teaching degree, my wife and I decided in 1973 to settle down in Little Falls. Your husband visited Little Falls that fall to participate in the dedication of the Lindbergh Interpretive Center. At the time, I had no clue that, in 1979, the Minnesota Historical Society would grant me the gift of serving as their manager of the Lindbergh Historic Site.

The Lindbergh Fund, now known as the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, had been founded in the summer of 1977 on the 50th anniversary of your husband’s flight to Paris. During the decade of the 1980s, it was only natural that the mission of the Lindbergh Fund and the Lindbergh Historic Site would find so many reasons to work together. To be involved in that work at that time with the Foundation staff, Board of Directors and members of your family was a remarkable gift. Coming to know you and your daughter, Reeve, as persons rather than as icons, was the greatest gift of all, for both Nell and myself.

Being involved in the process of hosting tens of thousands of visitors to the historic site each year helped me realize more fully the impact you and your husband had over a lifetime on so many generations of our human landscape. It was my job, and my pleasure, to take time to learn more about you, and from you, through a variety of published works, public and private statements, and your deeds. I soon learned that many of our visitors were so much more than that. They were Pilgrims coming to make a greater connection to forces that had been truly influential in guiding and governing their own lives.
Yes, Anne, you have been a gift to our world that will go on giving, inspiring and encouraging people to make the most of themselves in a very complex, fast-changing and sometimes seemingly rootless world. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

Peace be with you, and to all of those you have loved in life.

From just two of your many admirers,

Chuck and Nell Stone

If you would like to learn
more about the
Lindbergh History and
The Charles A. and
Anne Morrow
Lindbergh Foundation,
click on this URL:

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