You may not know it... but I'm a history nut. It isn't usually something that I tell people on first meeting. Well - today - 11/11 is an important day in history. Today is armistice day. It was on this day, on the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month 1918 that the guns of WWI fell silent. This day - for nearly the last 100 years - has been celebrated. We choose this day to honor and thank our veterans and to remember the sacrifices of so many that gave so much. I think a lot about my Grandfather who was drafted in WWI and my uncle who served in WWII on this day every year. I wish that I could have really known them. I wish that I could hear their stories. I have SO many questions.
I love that our veterans are honored and that our past is remembered today. I really think that the most tragic thing that can happen is for a family to forget those that have gone before... and especially those in their family that have served in the military. I'm a bit of a collector. Marrying a love for history and collecting means that I end up picking up and keeping safe the little bits of history that others seem to throw away. I recently came into possession of a couple of small items that I will keep safe and treasure for a long time: a WWI journal and photo album. I am not related to the man in the photos, and I don't even know his whole story. All I know is that someone in his family let his little photo album and notebook from WWI get away. So - I'll hold on to it and treasure it in hopes that I can someday return it to the family or have it kept somewhere where it is appreciated.
The journal is really interesting. It begins in 1917 with training notes on how to work and repair machine guns (a new invention) and goes all the way until the end of the war. It is full of little sketches of his friends, army life, and even some of the places he went in France. There are accounts of fights between comrades and notes about train schedules. I have only read a fraction of it... but plan to read it little by little and love every moment of it.
The photo album is full of family photos and photos of Harlow - the author of the journal. I can only guess that Harlow did not have children and that his journal ended up going to a niece or nephew. There is a man named "Dad" in some of the photos. Perhaps this was Harlow's brother...?