Monday, December 09, 2013

I'll Be Home For Christmas by the Library of Congress

My father served in the navy during World War II, and though he, like so many of that generation, didn’t talk much about his experiences, I can imagine difficult it must have been to be separated from his family for so long.  That must have been especially true at the holidays, and not just for him, but for everyone involved in the war.

This collection of firsthand accounts from both the home front and the war front gives us a glimpse into the lives of those touched by the Second World War.  When we read the words of a POW spending his Christmas in captivity, or the father who receives an unexpected last gift from his pilot son, or the poem written by a soldier’s young son, we’re taken back to a time when the entire country sacrificed and gave for our men and women in uniform. 

These words and experiences are part of our collective heritage, and the Library of Congress has done an excellent job in selecting representative pieces and putting them together with photographs, advertisements, and magazine art to bring the era to life.   They’ve organized the book chronologically, so you can follow the course of the war Christmas by Christmas, from Pearl Harbor to VJ Day.

If you're interested in experiencing more about life during wartime, try Larry King's Love Stories of World War II or the PBS documentary,  America Goes to War.  

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