Today I am flying home from three weeks in Europe. I spent my time touring, walking, meditating, writing, meeting many new friends I knew from Facebook, and connecting with many people on the topic of STORIES.
A few story themes emerged often and I’m thinking about what to do with these, besides include them in Volume 3 of my Stories from the World War II Battlefield books. Volume 3 is on organizing your materials and writing the story. The book will be released early 2016.
One meeting in particular stuck with me. I spent Sunday, 1 November with the Friends of the Timberwolves in the Netherlands. I met a small group of the Friends at their museum in Achtmaal. Within this group was a young man about the same age as my oldest son. I have not met anyone in the WWII world who was so young and interested in the stories.
The young man told me why he was interested in the 104th Infantry Division, the Timberwolves. He said since the age of 4 or 5, he would go with his father (also a member of the group) to events, on walks, and to the museum. He enjoyed hearing the stories and meeting the veterans and their families. This young man is also a musician and at Henri-Chapelle and Margraten this year on 3 May, he blew TAPS for a few veterans to honor their buddies who were killed in the war.
After spending the day with this group and this young man, I told him and his parents, I thought he should write a book. Explain his experiences as a young person involved in this world of war, re-enactment, preservation of history, and the passing of knowledge. What does it mean to him to be a part of this? What can his experience do to shape that of other young men and women who are interested both in Europe and the U.S.? I hope he someday writes a book from his perspective.
Our veterans are dying by the hundreds every day and we owe it to them and all those who came after, to preserve their stories. They fought and often died, to give us the freedoms we enjoy today.
Will you write your stories? The stories of your family during the war? Have you already written them? Please share your experiences in the comments.
© 2015 Jennifer Holik