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  • Writer's pictureLocal History Collection

Memorial Day Weekend 1945

Several months ago, a long-time resident walked into the Local History Collection with a cache of more than 500 letters that he found many years ago in the basement of a house in Roslyn Heights slated for demolition.


Written between 1942 and 1945, the letters represent the near-daily correspondence between a young Brooklyn couple during the time the husband was stationed in Europe, including over one year spent as a German prisoner of war.


Both officers in the armed forces, the wife was a member of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve and the husband was a lieutenant in the US Army.


Looking back at this amazing correspondence 75 years later reminds us of the grave importance of honoring our veterans for their valiant service to protect our freedom.

The letters provide a compelling look at life during World War II from the viewpoint of those fighting the war as well as from loved ones left behind on the home front. The love between the young couple is evidenced in the letters along with the hope they maintained for a long and stable future once the fighting ended. Luckily for them, the dreams they shared with each other in their many letters appear to have come true in their home in Roslyn Heights.


The last of the letters are dated from the spring of 1945, including the one pictured below in which the soldier writes a priority post message of 15 words to let his wife know he will be coming home soon.




The envelope is dated May 27th, which was the Sunday before Memorial Day in 1945. Looking back at this amazing correspondence 75 years later reminds us of the grave importance of honoring our veterans for their valiant service to protect our freedom.


You can view more images of the partially-digitized collection in our Waiting Out the War digital exhibit which includes colorful novelty stationary, letters that bear the dreaded “Reported Missing” stamp, and multiple types of specially-issued POW correspondence stock.

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