It was in my junior year of high school, as I worked my way back through the side of the family that gave me my biological father, and saw that one of my first cousins had a rather odd set of numbers on his headstone, a set of numbers that implied a life cut short, a life barely lived, still new at its end, that I became fascinated by military history. My first cousin had died of the Spanish Flu shortly after returning to his ship in Brest, France from Washington, DC where he was commissioned as an officer. He died on October 11, 1918. One month before the First World War would have ended. He died on the same day that the letter his wife had sent him with news of the birth of their daughter reached his ship. It was marked as undeliverable and returned to its sender.
This summer is a very empty summer for many people, with everything that is now going on in the world. So I decided that perhaps, I could help the Town of Reading fill it by sending us on a journey: a journey through time. I wanted to give us all an opportunity to step into the shoes and skin of the young men of Reading who fought in the Second World War, who may have lived on your street (and probably did), who walked the hallways of your schools, who worked and raised their families in your town.
It is my intention to cover as much of our town’s sons (and perhaps daughters too, should I find out about any young nurses or the like from Reading) as I can while also doing other writing for The Reading Post as well. If there is a story of a young person from Reading, Massachusetts who served during World War II that you would like to ensure gets told in some capacity, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to beginning this project, and I hope you are all as excited about it as I am. Expect the first “issue” to be released sometime in early or mid-July.