Just going through the boxes of items that have been saved over the years and came upon the items from my husband’s uncle Frank. Frank never married and lived a quiet life after returning from Europe where he had served in WWI in the United States Army. In one box is the letter and accompanying handkerchief which Frank sent to his niece (my husband’s mother) in 1918 for her birthday. The hanky depicts the American flag with flowers around it with the words “Souvenir De France” embroidered underneath.
On this Memorial Day, one hundred years later, I reflect on the men and women who have fought for freedom in the past, who currently serve and those who will so in the future. I am blessed to have records of family members who served and hope you do also. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries alone we have two worldwide wars and countless conflicts among other nations. The military forces of the United States and other countries stay deployed throughout the world today preserving the freedoms we enjoy.
Here are some online resources you can check for military records:
Cyndi’s List—U.S. Military: www.cyndislist.com/military.htm
Family Search: www.familysearch.org/
Fold3: www.fold3.com (subscription site but access it for free with a St. Louis County Library card)
National Archives: www.archives.gov
Joe Beine's Guide to Online Military Indexes and Records: www.militaryindexes.com/
Aside from the handkerchief, I am proud to possess other memorabilia and records from family members who have also served. I hope that each of us can take time this Memorial Day to reflect upon and honor those who have and continue to choose military service. After all, one of the reasons we do genealogy is to discover the roles our ancestors have played in the history of the world.
Have a safe and memorable Memorial Day!
In Memoriam: Joe PrestonJoseph A. Preston, an avid genealogist and photographer, served as president of St. Louis
Genealogical Society in 1990 and 1991. He passed away on 29 April 2018, in Greenville, South Carolina, at the age of ninety-two. Before becoming president of StLGS, Joe and his wife Jeannine both served on the society's board of directors and taught genealogy classes for the St. Louis Parks Extension Service.
Joe grew up in southwest Missouri and lived there until he was drafted in World War II. He served in Europe, then returned to the U.S., where he completed a law degree at the University of Missouri. Several current society volunteers remember Joe as having a "quirky" sense of humor and always being generous with legal advice for the society whenever he was needed. He was very active in a number of lineage and genealogy societies in addition to StLGS. He belonged to the Sons of the American Revolution, for which he was a Missouri president, and he served as president of the Missouri State Genealogical Association.
We send our condolences to Joe's wife, Jeannine, his daughters Alice Jo and Cynthia Lee, their spouses and children, and Joe's brother Smith and his wife Jane.