Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A belated Memorial Day remembrance

My maternal grandfather and his Swedish parents.
How do you like the length of my great grandmothers skirt?
And how about that mustache on my great grandfather?!
It's as big as a push broom!

Oh my gosh, the things I am finding!

I wish I had found these for a Memorial Day post ... my grandfather was in the Navy in WWI, on the USS Minnesota.

I found this on Wikipedia ...

On 6 April 1917, as the United States entered World War I, Minnesota rejoined the active fleet at Tangier Sound, Chesapeake Bay, and was assigned to Division 4, Battleship Force (BatDiv 4). During the war, she was assigned as a gunnery and engineering training ship, cruising off the middle Atlantic seaboard until 29 September 1918. On that date, 20 mi (30 km) from Fenwick Island Light, she struck a mine, apparently laid by U-117. Suffering serious damage to the starboard side, but with no loss of life, she managed to reach Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she underwent five months of repairs. On 11 March 1919, she put back to sea as a unit of the Cruiser and Transport Force. Assigned to that force until 23 July, she completed three round trips to Brest, France to return over 3,000 veterans to the United States.

I found these holiday menu cards my GF had kept from Thanksgiving and Christmas of 1918, holidays occurring after Armistice Day and I gather from the Wikipedia passage, the USS Minnesota was back at home in the States for those holidays, having struck a mine and returned for repair.

Those were days for celebration, we had won the war, the war to end all wars. WWI.

(Proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson)

(I chopped off my grandfather's name for privacy from the peeping Tom's
of the internet. I wonder who he was extending his compliments of the season to?)

(He even saved his cocktail napkin - yeah Grandpa!)

Later on, the USS Minnesota went to Europe and my Grandfather to Paris, specifically. I've found a ton of postcards from Paris that my GF brought home with him, showing the devastation in France.

He also brought home some books issued to him about Paris. I find this one rather odd in it's "up" attitude about our A.E.F. getting the most out of Paris in their short time there. Pointing out restaurants, theaters, etc., seems so very strange juxtaposed next to the heartbreak and ruin and rubble.


  1. Sally - your family is amazing. They saved everything! It's pretty wonderful to have a peek with you. ;) xox Pam

  2. Sally, this is wonderful...amazingly so and how fortunate you get to experience this or I should say these historical finds of country and family.