Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of my grandpa’s death. Growing up he was a role model to me, and I was honored to speak at his funeral.

This is a picture of my grandparents from the 50’s. I love it.

My grandpa went to college at The Citadel, but after his sophomore year he was shipped over to Europe as a 2nd Lieutenant to fight in World War II. During his time there he got a purple heart and a silver star, and helped to liberate a concentration camp. I feel so appreciative that he was the kind of person who wanted to talk about his experiences, and as young as 2nd grade we would go on walks and he would talk about the war. I developed a deep love of history because of him. In the few years before he died, he started to write his autobiography. He got sick and never finished, unfortunately. After he died, I inherited his handwritten autobiography and every single one of his letters that he sent home to his parents during the war. That’s right. My great-grandma saved every single letter, and I’m so thankful she did. I’ve spent the summer typing them up, and I have to say that despite how much my grandpa talked about his experiences, I’ve learned so much more about what he went through and what kind of person he was because of these letters and stories.

A letter he sent home to tell his parents he had been injured.

So these few days, around the anniversary of his death, I’ve found myself with all sorts of questions I wish I could ask him now. Obviously I can’t. However, I am so thankful for the things he passed on to me, and I’m so thankful that he preserved the stories of his past so that not only I, but future generations, can also read them.

I find that anniversaries of deaths are great times to do something in memory of that person, and typing up his letters from war last night was the perfect way to spend the evening.

Now it’s your turn to share: What’s one thing that a grandparent passed on to you? How do you remember those you’ve lost in your life?