Time to start thinking about the 4th of July and family gatherings. 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 honor of the July 4th holiday weekend.
Excerpts From Harry’s Letters
(Here I have changed the grammar and spelling.)
About philosophy and fear, written April 7, 1918, Camp Gordon, Atlanta, Georgia, to Mother and Home Folks
Well, I am wondering what you folks think. It is a time to be anxious and more or less excited. Boys are wondering where we are to move and how soon, if they will get a chance to go home before we go, and if we, or they, will ever come back at all. Some look at it one way and some another. There are so many stories going around. It helps to confuse us. The officers don’t tell us any too much. If they know or not, I can’t say.
Well, it is enough to make a feller stop and study to think. You may not get a chance to come home and don’t know what danger you are taking which is great, you must admit. I don’t see how some of them stand it at all. . . I know I couldn’t stand it if I didn’t have anything but this earthly life to cling to, but as you know, I have something bigger to live and fight and die for if necessary, than this present life and may I not hesitate to do His will.
Not that I do not value my life or that I do not love my folks and all the people at large, for I do. Although I never was much of a boy to show my love, but I do not think the folks understood me in many ways. But now I am willing to fight, suffer, and die for you and them, that the world may be free and have peace that can’t be had till this war is won in the right way, which I pray may come soon. All I am sorry for is that I ain’t a stronger and better man for Him.
Photo shows memorial stone for Harry in Caribou, Maine. He is buried in France.
to be continued