Preserving History

Endless Mountain War Museum

This past week my children and I took Toms’ WWII military collection to  the Endless Mountain War Memorial Museum in Sonestown, PA, not far from where we live. During the years especially after he retired he was always interesting in  military history with WWII his field of expertise.  He would talk till the cows came home of what he knew about the war in Europe especially the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge.  While he was deployed in Germany he took the opportunity to visit Utah and Omaha Beach, St Lo, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, France and the Ardennes Forest in Belgium where the Battle of the Bulge took place, and where my dad served.  He even talked to some of the survivors and learned first hand about the liberation of an oppressed people.

Learning of the struggles of the pilgrims

Learning of the struggles of the pilgrims

We made a good team, he and I.  His expertise rested with the military strategies of battles, the weapons they used and the behind the stories of the soldiers themselves.  My expertise rests with the home front and the Army and Navy nurses who were there to take care of the wounded on the beaches where they lay.  The second era we enjoyed learning about was the, history of the West, the American Civil War and the Revolutionary War.  We have been to living histories, a few re-enactments of Civil War and WWII battles and many lectures and museums.  A few people we met over the years were General Lee and his aide, General Stonewall Jackson and General and Mrs Grant.  General Picket was in the hotel room across from us – he told us Generals don’t sleep in tents they are allowed the comforts of hotel rooms! 😉  We even talked with the pilgrims on the Mayflower and learned of their experience coming to a new land. And through our travels we learned the fascinating history about the American Indian Nations that had lived here on the east coast.

Items from a display at the WWII weekend in Gettysburg.

Items from a display at the WWII weekend in Gettysburg.

Both of us collected books and artifacts from days gone by so it is fitting that we would donate the WWII military items he had including the two radios Tom and I had purchased to put in the “home-front” display.  We have kept a few pieces that have special memories behind them including the very first pieces of history we purchased. I also have many memories of us traveling and searching for new items to add to his collection or of how Tom was like a kid on Christmas morning when new boxes would arrive via Fed Ex with his latest addition.

Utah BeachNow many people traveling through PA can enjoy a part of history from not only Tom’s collection but also the vast collection started by Mr. Craft who owns the Endless Mountain War Memorial Museum.  I just found out today that a dear friend whose husband passed away a few years ago donated his WWII uniform and items from the five major European campaigns he served in.  The museum doesn’t glorify war, but it honors those who had to serve to stop oppression and evil in the hopes that what they did would ensure a free safe world for the generations yet to be born.

Preserving history was important to Tom.  By preserving history it is our hope that future generations would stop repeating the same mistakes and put a stop to all the destruction and hatred that lies in many people’s hearts.

 “What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.” General Robert E Lee

WWII Memorial ~ Washington DC

One of the many Memorials on the Gettysburg Battlefield

One of the many Memorials on the Gettysburg Battlefield

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About Patty B

My life centers around my faith in God and my family. www.specialmomentsinphotos.wordpress.com www.thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com
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34 Responses to Preserving History

  1. Beautiful post Patty. The memories of you and Tom collecting. And the generous gifting of it so that everyone can see it, feel the history from it, and hopefully learn from it. I like General Robert E. Lee’s quote. It says so much that you would think we could learn from.

  2. Terry says:

    Are you alright after doing that my friend?????????????

    • Patty B says:

      how sweet of you to ask, yes. It was very difficult, tears were shed as we left, and it made for a hard weekend, but we know in our hearts that it was the right thing to do. And another major step in moving forward.

  3. While it was a good thing to do…it likely was a bit difficult for you.. It is a good thing also to like you said to remember war if only to learn from it … . If only !!! Diane

    • Patty B says:

      yes it was difficult but at the same time we knew it was the right thing to do. Nations have not learned from history yet, we can only keep praying that one day there will be no more wars.

  4. Lots of thoughts and hugs, Patty! You have honored your husband with such devotion and love, shared with us such precious moments. Blessings always, dear lady. 🙂

  5. What a wonderful, honorable, loving thing to do. I think Tom would be so pleased.

  6. What a wonderful thing to do and to honour Tom’s memory.
    xo
    Diana

  7. margaret21 says:

    What a thoughtful and interesting post. Some of the most moving places I have ever visited have been the vast, simple cemeteries to the soldiers who died in WW1 over in northern France. The Imperial War Museum in London is similarly a place to inspire reflection, and relies for the strength of its collection on meaningful gifts such as yours, so thank you for your generous act.

  8. LubbyGirl says:

    This is beautifully written and honoring to Tom’s memory. May the LORD bless you and give you His comfort this day!!

  9. How selfless and caring. Sharing is always better and I’m sure he would be proud of your consideration.

  10. Denise Hisey says:

    A bittersweet time, it sounds.
    I’m sure it was healing for you all, too.
    Thank you for sharing, Patty.

  11. What a wonderful gesture you have made, not only for your husbands memory but for everyone else to enjoy and learn from. Blessings!!

  12. Patty – A beautiful and generous act for you to part with Tom’s treasured collection. The fact that he liked to share the collection with everyone that visited your home will now be seen by hundreds and more as the years past. May you find comfort and peace.

    • Patty B says:

      Thank you Sheri, with each day I am filled with more comfort and the peace of God is starting to fill my life once again.

      • Patty – I’m so happy to hear you are finding some comfort each day. I don’t need to tell you it’s easy – we both know it’s not. I felt it was step forward and then two steps back and often I fell down the rabbit hole. I always thought the sunlight shining in through the top of the rabbit hole was God’s eternal light telling me that I could make it for one more day and of course – I always did.

      • Patty B says:

        How beautifully said…Falling down the rabbit hole is the perfect description of how I feel most days…and the light shining in …being God’s eternal light…such encouraging words. Thank you….

  13. russtowne says:

    Excellent post! Thank you, Patty!

  14. What a generous gift for you to share. Though I know it had to be difficult….so very many will benefit from your selfless act. History will live on because of this wonderful collection! Bless you ♥

  15. utesmile says:

    What a great thing to do and Tom would have wanted you to do it. This is another step into your healing and I am sure it was another hard thing to do!, Hope you are alright! Hugs

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