As part of an on-going effort to document the experiences of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints involved in war, the Saints at War Project at Brigham Young University has expanded its research to focus on those who served in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and World War I.
Bob Freeman, professor of Church history at BYU, said a student recently visited him and shared how she had found a Red Cross bag filled with old love letters between her great uncle and his new bride. The letters dated back to World War I and served as a poignant reminder of the hardships endured by those involved in wartime experiences.
"They may not be with us today, but their children, grandchildren or other associates are," Freeman says. "We urge anyone who may have ties to veterans of the 19th or 20th-century military conflicts to contact our office. Capturing history of this kind is like watching the fleeting rays of sunshine slowly disappear over the horizon."
Those who wish to reach the researchers at BYU may call (801) 422-2820 or may send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The project directors are also interested in accounts of anyone involved in more recent conflicts.
Freeman and colleague Dennis Wright co-authored the two books, "Saints at War: World War II" and "Saints at War" Korea and Vietnam."
"We know there is much more we need to understand," Freeman says. "We want to hear the voices of those who have long since passed from us."
Writer: Devin Knighton