Friday, June 26, 2009

Harry Buzzell's World War I Story, Part 1

Time to start thinking about and getting ready for the 4th of July. Harry Buzzell, my grandfather's brother, automatically comes to mind as he is the one in our family who made the ultimate sacrifice in 1918 during World War I in France. His story was captured in his own words in 60 letters that he wrote home from 1914 to 1918.
I've written about him before some and even presented a speech once. But now I want to look at it again and thought that I would create a series about him in anticipation of the upcoming holiday weekend.

I'll begin with the same introduction from my speech at our family reunion in 2002 pictured below:

Harry’s Buzzell’s Letters
Buzzell Reunion July 7, 2002
Colby Baptist Church, Woodland, Maine

Finding the Letters

I have been asked to share some information regarding the letters that Harry Buzzell sent home to his mother in Colby Siding. The letters were found in three small stationary boxes in my great-aunt Stella Buzzell’s house after she died. Harry’s mother, Mary, saved the letters that Harry sent home.
The letters came to me last fall (2001). I decided to transcribe the letters on my computer at home. It seemed important to keep all of the original spellings and grammar as much as possible. Some of the handwriting was difficult to decipher.
The first step was to put the letters in chronological order. They were in very good condition and many were in the original envelopes. I put the letters and envelopes in sheet protectors in a notebook.

to be continued