A campaign to collect and preserve 1 million letters written by service men and women in America’s wars is scheduled to arrive in San Diego Thursday.
The campaign is being led by historian Andrew Carroll, a professor at Chapman University in the city of Orange. His goal is to collect war-related correspondence from every conflict in U.S. history, from handwritten missives penned during the American Revolution to emails sent from Iraq and Afghanistan.
On the campaign’s website, he said he would prefer original copies but will accept photocopies and scans.
“These letters and emails help us to honor and remember the troops, veterans, and military family members who have served this nation,” Carroll said.
“These are their words, their stories, their voices, and no one can tell their stories better than they can,” he said. “I also hope this project will encourage service members and veterans to write letters to their loved ones about their experiences, even if they relate to events that happened years or even decades ago.”
An announcement of the local part of the nationwide campaign is scheduled to take place Thursday at the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum. Carroll is scheduled to speak and collect letters next week at the San Diego Office of Education.
His latest book is “My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War.” He was also interviewed for “The Great War,” a documentary which aired in April on PBS.
Information about his letter collection effort is online at https://www.chapman.edu/research/institutes-and-centers/cawl/million-letters- campaign.aspx.
—City News Service