Saturday, June 6, 2009
Written Treasure (Inspired By a D-Day Video)
Hector Archibald MacDonald (I know I put this up before, but I love the pic)
I was just looking at a video about Captain William Nation, that was put together to honor him by a nephew he never met. I was moved by his letters and the videos shown.
Here is a link to MSNBC'S videos of the D-Day invasion. So far...I have only viewed #11, which shows film from his 4 years serving during WWII, and video of his nephew showing/reading some of the letters, discussing his uncle and motivations for honoring him and the other soldiers.
It was a moving piece.
I cried because it reminded me of my dear uncles, Uncle Hector and Uncle Jim...who both served during almost the entire war. Uncle Hector was in four invasions, with D-Day being one of them. He was a medic in the Army.
I can't imagine what it must've been like to become so war weary after 4 long years. I know my uncle needed time when he came home to disengage from it and then he never discussed it until he opened up with some things when he was in his 80s. I know I have written about him before.
As I watched this video...it occurred to me that I have never seen any of his or my uncle Jim's hand written letters. Not ever. I know they wrote home. Did my grandparents and Mom throw them out...like many people tend to do with correspondence (not me), or are they still tucked away somewhere yet to be discovered?
I know there wasn't anything in Mom's things. Either my uncle or Mom would've gotten my grandparent's personal things. Are they still tucked away in some of my uncle's things that perhaps I missed... just assuming they were boxes of pictures of people I don't know?
Oh...what treasure to find...if only it were so!
I don't ever throw out hand written letters (I would allow for typed as well), or notes. I feel if the person took the time to write... that it is worthy of keeping. Plus it is fun to go back and read what was going on at that time, particularly if a lot of years have passed.
I have an idea for a project. Go through all correspondence, slide them into the hole punched laminate and categorize in a binder. Some people write so much more than others and it would be interesting to see how life evolved through their eyes. Or to read their kind words to you when they were offering support, appreciative, proud or happy for you...especially if they shared their heart about life's events. It means a lot to me when I read old correspondence.
Anyway... I would just love to find their war letters. If they were thrown out...that is a shame. But in life...as we are living it...we don't always realize the value of what is in front of us at the time... or it's potential value in the future.
I was very excited when I found some things uncle Hector wrote about his views on life or his feelings at the time. I was so surprised that he too was a person who needed to put thoughts on paper. Maybe someday..I will share them.
People live on through their words.