When I wrote this post back in November of 2018, I wanted to share some family history that I had come across. My great uncle Tom was on the front lines of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic and wrote to his family about the hell he was going through. I never considered I would live through my own pandemic. I am grateful for all the hard – and heartbreaking – work that today’s healthcare workers are doing to fight COVID-19. Stay home and stay safe.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, later known as Veterans Day. On November 11, 1918 – at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month – World War I ended. It is estimated that the “war to end all wars” killed 20 million and wounded 25 million. From the United States, 116,516 soldiers were killed and 204,002 wounded.
My great uncle Tom Slattery (8/3/1888-2/7/1974) was stationed at Camp Zachary Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, along with 50,000 other soldiers. Though over the years I have learned about WWI, I didn’t know what was going on stateside during this time until I read Tom’s weekly letters to his family back in Covington, Indiana. He ran a medical ward at the camp’s hospital and did not hold back when describing the illnesses, deaths, and suicides that became part of his daily life.
At thirty years old, he was…
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