It’s the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It’s the time set aside to honor the brave men and women who have served their country well in times of need. My dad was a member of what has been called “The Greatest Generation.” During World War II he left a young bride, mother, father and siblings here in Itawamba County to serve his country. Growing up, I would sit with full attention listening to him tell stories of his service time and reminiscing about his fellow soldiers – always wondering what happened to them after the war. During the war, he wrote letters and his cheap camera he bought at Fulton Drug Company seemed to be quite a constant companion every where he went. On occasion, I sit down and read old letters he wrote home and thumb through old yellowed photographs he took of friends and fellow soldiers during World War II.
When reading the old letters and looking though the aged photographs, the opening line of Walt Whitman’s Come Up From the Fields, Father comes to mind:
Come up from the fields, father, here's a letter from our Pete;
And come to the front door, mother--here's a letter from thy dear
On this special day set aside by our Congress, let us not forget the American veteran. Whether it’s a simple thanks, a handshake, pat on the back or a hug – honor those brave men and women who have served their country well.
The Veterans History Project
The Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project is a most excellent online resource. Here the visitor will find letters, narratives, photographs, personal diaries, post cards, audio and video taped interviews and much more relating to the American veteran. Take time to discover this worthwhile project. The Veterans History Project relies on volunteers to collect and preserve wartime stories from the American veteran. Please consider helping the Library of Congress with this worthwhile endeavor.
World War II Photographs by Cleveland Franks