Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

I hope it isn't going to rain where you live and that you have a great day of barbecue and fireworks! Please remember, freedom isn't free. Lots of wonderful people died to give you the freedom you have today! 

Let me tell you about one special fourth of July that I think about often. It happened in 1918. On that day, the street in Paris named 'Avenue du Trocadero' was renamed 'Avenue du President Wilson' on behalf of the United States joining the war effort. (BTW, before WWII, WWI was known as 'The Great War'.)

This fourth of July is special to me because my grandfather marched down the Avenue du President Wilson that day. Only a few hundred soldiers got to participate, my grandfather was one of them. He also bought this postcard as a souvenir to send to my grandmother.

On the back of it he wrote this note. Notice there isn't any stamp on this postcard. My grandfather wrote in the corner 'soldier's mail'. That is because it didn't cost anything for soldiers fighting overseas to mail letters home. Also, all mail had to be censored to make sure soldiers weren't sending home information that the enemy could use. You can see the censor stamp in the middle of the postcard. 

My grandmother lived at 1707 Melville Street in the Bronx. She and her family owned an Italian restaurant there and lived in an apartment above the restaurant. (Today, it is a laundromat ) My grandparents married one year later, when my grandfather came home from the war. I am blessed to have this postcard and I am very thankful my grandmother kept it!

It makes the fourth of July extra special to me!

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