Monday, July 25, 2016

Letters from Another World

The other night I was reading letters sent by my great uncle when he was a Marine in France during the First World War. He went into the trenches and "over the top" at Soissons and some other engagements. After the armistice he stayed on in Germany for a while with the Army of Occupation.

There is something eerie about reading such letters. In addition to the content, you notice the penmanship and paper quality. One of the post-war letters still had dirt from Germany on it. He often speaks of his plans for the future.  It is like reading a mystery to which you already know the ending.

He also kept a diary which is far more candid than the discreetly worded letters he sent to his mother and his siblings.  

The good news is he returned home and taught school for many years, never thinking, I'm sure, that in 2016 someone would be reading his letters and diary from "The Great War."

Extraordinary person. Extraordinary life.

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