More than 50 people attended the "Million Letters Campaign" San Diego on Wednesday and brought hundreds of letters and war memorabilia to donate.
The event was part of a cross-country tour to protect and preserve war-related correspondence through the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University.
The San Diego County Office of Education supported the campaign as a way to connect school children with artifacts linked to the men and women who served in the U.S. military during war time and their families.
"History can sometimes be dry," said San Diego County Board of Education President Rick Shea. "But this effort brings it to life."
Founding director of the center, historian, and best-selling author Andrew Carroll shared personal stories about previously donated letters with the large crowd at the County Office. He was followed by one-time San Diego resident George Fee, who explained why donating his father's correspondence was so important.
"It has brought me much contentment to know that those treasured letters will always be preserved and utilized," Fee said.
Area residents brought in boxes, bags, and scrapbooks filled with war-related correspondence.
Jim Price of San Diego had about a hundred letters written from his father to his mother during World War II. He also brought his great-grandfather's diary from the Civil War.
Joyce Desrochers showed off her father's scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings, photos, and letters he wrote to her mother while serving in the Pacific during WWII.
While some attendees donated to the campaign during the event, several – such as Price and Desrochers – wanted more time with their memories before gifting them to the center.
If you are interested in donating your war letters to the Center for American War Letters please visit www.warletters.us, or fill out this donation form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866.
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Pictured at the top is San Diego resident Jim Price with letters written by his father to his mother during World War II. In the photo to the right, historian and best-selling author Andrew Carroll addresses the Million Letters Campaign event crowd on Wednesday.