I was asked if I could share a little bit more about my thoughts as I have been working on the World War II book. It has been such an interesting process for me. To actually hold the letters in my hands and to talk to living relatives who knew these people so well, the people that I have been writing about, I seem to have such a connection with them through translating the letters. I wish that there was room in the book to publish every letter that I have, the letters are amazing. Things are different now, we have technology, e-mail, Facebook, twitter, to me these love letters are priceless, if any of you have a relative that served in the services during the war, ask if they have any letters that you could read. It is truly an amazing thing. I will share a couple stories with you.
One set of letters that I bought on eBay was a rather large set of letters, around 80 letters that a husband had been writing home to his wife. I just love the mushy letters. He writes his wife and tells her that she should save the letters because it would be kind of like a diary of his service during the war. The wife did save the letters and the couple passed away in the 1980s. Somehow the letters left the family, they never knew the letters even existed. After purchasing the letters, I just really wanted to have a picture to put with the letters, after contacting the family, they were truly amazed. They had no idea that the letters even existed, this past week, I sent back home 60 of the 80 letters. 20 of them I am using in the book and I will return to the family after I am finished with them. I received this letter from them this week.
We have received dad’s letter’s in today’s mail and within minutes of their receipt, have been sitting and enjoying their contents. The family is so indebted to you for finding these treasures and returning them to their “home”. I was especially touched by one of his comments ….. he suggested that she keep a memory book for them of their experiences of the war – since he was not permitted to keep a diary. He said that way they would be able to reflect on and share these experiences at a later time. His wish was fulfilled, just a little later than expected!!! And we have you to thank for that!
Well, time to continue our journey back in time so I will talk with you again.
This soldier wrote his letters to his wife, the child that is reading the letters today was just a toddler when they were written.
Another wonderful story that I have to share, I purchased some wonderful little cards that a soldier wrote home to his wife during World War II. When I tried to track down the family for photos, I found out they had no children but he did have one sister. That sister passed away this past summer so I contacted her children. I contacted the soldiers Niece and her husband and they were absolutely delighted. They have sent me some wonderful photographs to use in the book. They were really excited about the fact that I was going to use their uncle’s letters in the next World War II quilt book, they went to visit the niece’s husband mother. She is 92 years old and still living at home. She herself had been a quilter for over 50 years. They told her the story of meeting me through the letters and how I was going to use them in my upcoming book on World War II , she stood up, went back to her quilt room and brought out my Civil War books. She also gave them her husband’s letters which I’m also featuring in the book.
Yesterday I just finished with an amazing set of love letters, the love letters are written by a soldier in the Army who fell in love with a young girl that he had met in the park while he was on a short furlough. The young girl was dating other boys and I think was a senior in high school. The soldier wrote such wonderful letters to her, you could tell how much he cared about her. He gets a furlough and is supposed to return home to marry his childhood sweetheart, he goes home but cannot marry her, he returns to camp early just to see if the young girl that he truly loves has sent him another letter. The young girl and the soldier have both passed, I did talk to the young girl’s sister this past week, the young girl and the soldier talked about going on a date at the end of the war, I am not sure that date ever happened, the young girl ended up marrying someone else. The letters to me are just so moving, just so wonderful to read.
Yesterday I received a set of 180 letters, I can’t wait to sit down and look through those. I never did get the chance to read the letters that my dad wrote my mother, that would’ve really been an amazing thing. The manuscript for the World War II book is about halfway finished now, I am sure there are many other interesting stories and people I will meet along the way. I am just hoping that this book honors all the wonderful veterans that made so many sacrifices for our freedom and our country.
Have a wonderful evening,