Past and present

It was an interesting week balancing between the past and the present.

I received an email from a NH researcher through the historical society where my grandparents lived. She had taken on a huge project to learn about almost 2,000 American soldiers killed in WWII and buried in the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium. Along with those brave citizens, she also agreed to find the personal story behind 29 Americans buried in the Luxembourg American Cemetery.

As she was pulling these 29 stories together, she found that my Uncle Allen who is buried in Luxembourg was a NH classmate of her great uncle who is buried in Belgium. She wanted to find out more about my uncle and volunteered to also send information to the Manilla American Cemetery where my Uncle John is remembered on the Tablets of the Missing containing 36,286 names.

Four brothers pre WWII – one would be deemed medically ineligible, three would serve, and two would make the ultimate sacrifice. A family, like so many others, changed forever.

I went through all my photos and papers and assembled what I thought was meaningful and sent them on to her.

I’ll be honest, it was very emotional to think that the time spent assembling family photos, diplomas, medals, and other things would find their way to a personal file to remain with them.

Gone but not forgotten is so important as we the keepers of the family history all age. It was so worthwhile to think they won’t just be a cross or a name but will now have a story with family photos highlighting their lives before WWII with them forever.

On the present front, Friday the 300,000 1B group of NH folks were eligible to register interest in receiving the vaccine, and 170,000 did just that. It took us about 30 minutes to do so, we received an email acknowledging the entry, and were told that we would then receive info on booking an appointment sometime in the future but to be patient.

Imagine our shock when we got online the following morning at 6 a.m. and found that we had the emails to register for the vaccine.

While at least two other states that I know of are only requiring name, date of birth, and address, NH is using the CDC online system. It is considerably more involved and required the state sending a separate email that provided info line by line on how to complete the form which certainly helped.

I’m happy to say, we are now both set up to receive the first shot on February 3. We drove by the site yesterday, and it appears to be a drive through with marked lanes and the appointments scheduled for every ten minutes. Fingers crossed that the appointments are not cancelled which is happening because of supply.

Again, a myriad of feelings that just maybe we can stop fearing contracting the virus although continue to follow all the safety guidelines. I raise my coffee cup in the hope that we and everyone else who is interested can get the vaccine.

As a prelude to spring, I’ve been enjoying the Amaryllis blooming on our porch.

What can I say except these beauties which are 7″ across have certainly brought many smiles as I sit out there in the sunshine reading.

I hope you have a good week, we all deserve many good weeks.

Stay well. ❀️

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
This entry was posted in Family, New England and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to Past and present

  1. The more you look into family history the more you realize how connected we all are to each other! Great post and well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dan Antion says:

    It was nice of you to help with the person’s project. Information like that becomes useful when combined with other items. It makes for a more complete story. Congrats on getting registered!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Murphy's Law says:

    At some point we’ll all be family history. That’s a wonderful thing you did to share photographs and documents with this researcher to help her move along in her project. Because of you, and the researcher, your uncles will never be forgotten.

    Great news that you have an appointment for vaccination #1. Fingers crossed there’s no cancellation.

    Love your Amaryllis. I’d be smiling when I looked at it too! πŸ€—

    I agree with you Judy, we all deserve lots of good weeks!
    Ginger

    Think positive. Test negative.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oddment says:

    This bright amaryllis seems so fitting for a post like this. The past always touches the present and we hope every day that that past won’t be forgotten. I will take the amaryllis as a sign. And I will keep my fingers crossed that you get both shots!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s great that you were able to register for the vaccine. It’s hit or miss here. The hospitals, which are very efficient, are only doing 75 and up. The drugstores are following the CDC guideline of 65+ but it’s impossible to get an appointment. I am registered at three different places but have yet to year. I’m being patient as many around me are getting the vaccine so I think that helps keep me safe too. I did a lot of family research and searching through records and photographs is always moving. Their gumption to up and move to a new country where they don’t speak the language has always fascinated me. My extended family didn’t lose anyone in WWII which is unusual.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is truly fascinating how the different states are scheduling the vaccine. We have one option, and that is the state run site. Yes, I’m with you – the more people who get the vaccine the better off we all are. It is always a learning experience to research family history and as you say somewhere back there a person got on a ship and endured weeks of rough travel to get here and start an entirely new way of life. We certainly owe those hearty souls a real sense of gratitude for paving the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I have visited the American cemetery in France and several of the beaches there and it’s very moving. When I was in New Orleans a couple of years ago we visited the WWII museum and it too was also very moving. I really enjoyed the exhibits that had family stories and articles of personal stuff so I know the things and stories you’ve added will be appreciated by those who see them.

    They haven’t gotten to my age group yet for the vaccine, but I am still content to wait my turn and let others go before me. Both my next-door neighbors have had their first dose so I’m a little better off already! πŸ˜€

    Your Amaryllis is gorgeous! We’ve got the second of three storms blowing through and it looks like overnight we got snow! I can’t wait for daylight to start breaking so I can see. It’s only going to get up to 36 degrees today and be cloudy all day. I started a new book for the first time in months. It’s the Book Woman of Troublesome Creek. It’s still early in the book for me, but it’s starting out well and interesting. Enjoy the sunshine, your beautiful amaryllis, and the book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Visiting the beaches of France has always been on my list of places to visit. I’m not sure I’ll make it with all that is going on but number one of my list was Luxembourg so I’m satisfied. Hooray for your neighbors getting the shot. They were going to start at 75 here but lowered that to 65 which made for a much larger pool. I’m sure you and your camera will capture some lovely if cold shots today. I looked that book up, and it sounds very interesting for those of us who are fans of the library plus it has a back story which will also provide insight. Enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My Mom who was born and raised in KY and has a degree in Library Science recommended the book to me. She liked it because it has KY history which she found interesting and it’s about the library sharing books. πŸ˜€
        On my bucket list to go back to that area of France with He-Man and Big Baby Boy. They would enjoy the history, and area too. Hopefully, one day we’ll get to check that off the list. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  7. pastpeter says:

    Congrats on the Covid vaccine. In NY State our numbers of we over75s have swamped the vaccine availability. Our Governor says it could take 6 months to deal with the backlog if a lot more vaccine is not shipped. Ten days ago every site stopped taking reservations. So we hunker down like last Feb and practice patience…!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, we’re hopeful that next week the supply will be available, but we’ve already seen on the news where some appointments were canceled. If we have to reschedule, we’ll probably be at the six month time frame. We’re getting pretty practiced at hunkering down aren’t we? I hope we get to practice something else more fun as the year proceeds. Stay well, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Very poignant about your uncle. This story will be passed down to your family, and he will not be forgotten. As for getting vaccinated…wonderful, wonderful! Unfortunately, Maine doesn’t seem to be as organized as New Hampshire, but I’m hoping that will soon change. It’s been quite a year, but there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These family stories are so important, and participating in a project like this is a benefit to so many. Participating in the vaccination project is also a benefit to so many!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ally Bean says:

    I’m almost jealous of your good fortune about getting the vaccine. I don’t rate at all, too young, too healthy, not essential. Thus there’s not even a guesstimate about when I’ll be eligible for the first jab. I just keep waiting, waiting, waiting… and staying home. Bored.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They were going to have 1b start at 75 but dropped it to 65. That made for a larger pool, but so far so good. Young and healthy are both good things and probably most of us retirees are non essential. πŸ™‚ We’ve been home 10 1/2 months and as we move into month 11 it gets harder to come up with worthwhile project, well at least until spring arrives. πŸ™‚ Stay well while you wait.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Eliza Waters says:

    Your story reminds me of ‘Saving Private Ryan’ when so many families were paying dearly during WWII. The scars last generations. Similarly, I think this pandemic has and will leave many indelible marks on families and society. Glad you got your appt. so quickly. Fingers crossed all goes well for you on 2/3.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘Saving Private Ryan’ was an unbelievably well done movie, and it certainly hit home when I saw it. I’ve never watched it again though because it is too real. Yes, this pandemic has left so many empty chairs at the family table that it will definitely have a similar effect. Please, keep your fingers crossed, and I’ll do the same for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Nancy says:

    Good Morning Judy! How wonderful to find some one out there who wants to tell more of your family history.
    And thank goodness for your registration! I too got an appointment for sweet man but not on till the 10th. Prayers for you, your husband and sweet man that their appointments are not canceled.
    My amaryllis still has not bloomed but it is taller!
    Have a wonderful day Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. bikerchick57 says:

    I hope you are able to get the first vaccine and follow-up vaccine in a timely manner. There are issues with supply and distribution of both, but I have faith that there are people working to rectify the situation. Unfortunately, Biden walked into a 100,000 piece puzzle strewn across the floor that he has to solve quickly and intelligently. Let’s hope for the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Lavinia Ross says:

    That is an interesting as well as poignant bit of family history from WWII, Judy. None of those lives should be forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My husband and I were able to get vaccine appointments for this coming Thursday. Although I guess that could change, we remain hopeful. When they opened it up to those of us 65 and older, I’ve never been so happy to have had an early January birthday. I just slid under the wire.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. The picture of your uncles is really fascinating. It’s a moment captured in time, but also represents the ageless dynamic of impatient siblings posing for an adult. The outfits especially are so great. I can appreciate the emotions you had as you sent off those family memories to the researcher. Glad to hear that you registered for the vaccine — how exciting! My elder sister in Michigan has already experienced a delay for her first shot, but only by two weeks. Hopefully yours will be on time. – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was looking over the photos deciding which one to use in the post, and that one spoke volumes for all the reasons you mentioned. It has been emotional but also one of the very most important things I’ve done in a long while. I could live with a two week delay, but I sure hope I don’t have to go online and find another appointment or I’ll be looking at summer. Not much we can do about it though except go with the flow. Stay well, and I hope you and Gorgeous get an appointment too!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. germac4 says:

    Your photo of your uncles is very poignant given they were so young and had such hard times ahead. I am putting some family history together now, and when you record the dates and the photos and the stories, the characters come alive again…so important for future generations.
    Good luck with the vaccine, Australia is starting in Feb/March but who knows how it will all be managed. Anyway, we’ve come a long way from this time last year!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but some years ago, we spent three days on and around Omaha Beach, which my father-in-law would have seen on D-Day. It was a very emotional and intense time. We also have/had a number of his WWII memorabilia.

    I wish my parents could get the vaccine but right now Arizona doesn’t seem to have that many doses and it’s almost impossible to get an appointment. I don’t know how long they’ll have to wait and we’ll be behind them, so it could be some time. In the meantime, we’ll just keep doing what we’re doing…or not doing. πŸ™‚

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • A trip to Omaha Beach has been definitely on my list, but I’m not sure I’ll make it. I can certainly appreciate the impact of being there. The vaccine rollout has been very challenging and the difference from state to state is kind of mind boggling. You are right. In the meantime, we will all practice our safety procedures and try to be patient.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Tina Schell says:

    Wow Judy, isn’t it amazing how researchers can find individuals related to those who are now a part of history? I love that they found you and that you’ve provided information on your uncle who will now be known as a person with a family and a life rather than just a faceless number. And good for you for scheduling a vaccine – fingers crossed it all works out. My husband has an appointment later today at a drive thru and I’ll ride along with him in hopes they’ll give me one too although it’s doubtful. You never know!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I felt like I won a lottery last week when she contacted me. It was something I had never hoped to achieve. and I am eternally grateful. Yes, ride along, what can it hurt. Our first doses here in the state seem to be going well, but the folks trying to get scheduled for second doses aren’t going so well. I’m not looking forward to that part of it for sure.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. quiltify says:

    As an amateur genealogist since about age 4, I love this story!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Judy, I too believe I the importance of knowing our family history. Congratulations on getting registered for your first vaccine dose! Got my first one last Thursday, no side effects. Good luck wit yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Joyce says:

    I am touched by the way your uncles continue to be respectfully remembered through your efforts. I’ve gotten to know them in your blog posts, your visit to their cemetery, and now this photo of four handsome guys, two of which made Gold Star Mothers of your grandmother. β€œThe Greatest Generation,” indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Judy, so nice that you could contribute to the preservation of family history. And, how lucky to have been ‘found’ by the researcher. Congrats on getting an appointment. We will try again tomorrow morning. With only so many available and everyone vying for slots, it’s a tedious process, but it is moving forward quite orderly and Florida is meeting its projections. It will happen eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I got lucky last week. I know it, and I’m grateful. πŸ™‚ NH is moving along with the first doses but are seeing some real hiccups in trying to schedule second doses in a timely manner. I think this entire thing is quite challenging for a lot of states while others seem to be cruising along with no issues. Difficult to understand, but …

      Like

  24. Ogee says:

    Your uncle is smiling for your remembrance of him and his sacrifice. And good luck with your appointment! I see that 200M more doses are being ordered. Progress forward…finally!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Jane Lurie says:

    Congratulations on your vaccine appointment, Judy. Gives us all hope for a brighter year ahead. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  26. It’s so important to remember those who’ve gone before us. How lovely of that lady to follow up with you. And good news re the vaccine. I hope it all goes ahead according to plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. pbmgarden says:

    Wonderful project. I’m about to sort through some old family photos today (instead I’m reading blogs!) and will try to compile them into something meaningful.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Brenda says:

    That photo of your uncles couldn’t better represent that time, that place, their bond, and their unknown future. I love how all their expressions are so different from each other and how three are wearing similar sweaters and one is in a suit. I’m sure there are all kinds of stories represented in that one shot. And now you will be able to incorporate some of their story into a larger history.

    I have been doing some historical research this past year and it is astounding how much we can access now on our computers from our dining room (in my case) tables. Imagine the researcher that contacted you trying to track down these personal histories fifteen or twenty years ago. I’ve also come to realize how important it is to document the little things–the personal, the mundane, our every day lives–because what we take for granted now can quickly become a total mystery to future generations.

    Hoping we all get vaccinated soon and can do some visiting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that photo, four different individuals, but related and all headed off to different places. I wonder if it is our generation that is still interested in the past or if our adult children will become interested when they reach this age. I don’t know the answer, but I do think about it. Yes, bring on the vaccinations, and I will head north. πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Brenda says:

        My daughter, who is 42, has done amazing, extensive research into family history and has put together a book for her children that brings their ancestors to life. She collected photos, letters, keepsakes, and dug deep into ancestry.com’s genealogy, newspapers, ship lists, probate records, military records, historical societies, and more. The resulting book is absolutely amazing–so much rich personal history about which I had no idea. It is astounding how much information is out there now, if you know where to find it. And, with computers, we can store it in a centralized, easily accessible form for future generations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You gave me goosebumps. I’ve heard of families sharing a website but haven’t heard of a book. What a wonderful idea!

        Like

  29. joey says:

    The amaryllis is stunning πŸ™‚
    I am so glad you’ll be getting your vaccines soon!
    I am the family history keeper, too. Strange as it seems, my husband’s ex-wife’s father (Pop Pop) has also charted quite a bit of my family history for posterity. I am concerned about whether any of my children are suitably interested in the role or if it will die with me. My father’s mother groomed me for this job, probably when I was about 8. One has to love stories, one has to make connections, one has to have a keen memory, but one absolutely has to care, and I’m not sure they do *yet. Time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can see you being the family history keeper, and I can see you doing it quite well. That was nice to get help from outside the immediate family because it never hurts to have multiple people looking for clues. You described it perfectly, and I wonder about whether it will die with me as well. Fingers crossed it doesn’t for either one of us. Stay well, and it always makes me smile to see you pop up.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Joanne Sisco says:

    Congratulations on getting a vaccine date so soon! It’s a shit-storm here with the vaccine rollout (which I won’t get into) and I despair that it will be many months before I’ll likely get a turn for a vaccination πŸ˜•

    Many years ago as a teenager I went to a WWII war cemetery in Belgium, which I’m pretty sure was Henri-Chapelle. It was emotionally overwhelming. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to visit WWI cemeteries along the Western Front, and WWII cemeteries along the Normandy beaches. They are experiences that are deeply touching. To have personal connections to these places would be even more emotional. I too am the family historian and I think I can imagine how personally touching this exercise was for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to say I shed more tears pulling that info together than I had in years. When I was done and knew the info would reside in the individual files, I felt like I had accomplished a really important project that was meant for me to do. The sheer volume of the military cemeteries that are so well maintained just brings every piece of history you’ve ever read right to your heart. As far as the vaccine goes, we sure are looking forward to getting that first shot tomorrow. However, I just read an online article that when the people went to schedule the second shot today, the website went down. Remember ‘KISS’ – keep it simple, stupid? What I’ve observed is in the states where you called on the telephone and asked to be on a list seems to work better. All you gave them was name and birthdate. They called you back for the first appointment, you got the shot, they gave you the date for the second shot. That works. All these fancy federal websites asking six pages (literally) of information and requiring passwords are way more complicated and they can’t get them to work for the individual states. So, it looks like I’ll get the first one, but my fingers and toes are crossed we get the second one. I hope your system is more streamlined when they roll it out.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Dawn says:

    I’m blinking back tears, Judy! What a precious, priceless gift you have given to your Uncle Allen by documenting his story for eternity!πŸ’•πŸ™πŸΌ I must share your story with my husband, John, who is our family genealogist. I truly hope that you are able to get your vaccines without distribution or weather delays. πŸ™πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ We’ll all be waiting to hear your update!πŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

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