What Happened on September 1st – A World War I Soldier Writes Home

IF I ONLY HAD A TIME MACHINE

French soldiers during the Battle Of Verdun French soldiers during the Battle Of Verdun

Excerpts of an American soldier’s letter from September 1, 1917.  The letter (not complete below) was written when he was on leave in Paris.

Dear Lois,

Enjoying the luxuries of life including ice cream, sheets, cafes and things. The French have a saying to the effect that no one comes out of Verdun the same. As the fighting is stiff there always the statement is probably true for all times, it certainly is true of Verdun during an attack. It would take a book to tell about all that happened there and when I try to write, little incidents entirely unconnected come to my mind so I don’t know where or how to begin. Besides the desolation visible to the eye there was the desolation visible to the nose. You could often see old bones, boots, clothing and things besides lots of recent ones…

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