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Veteran’s Day: A Letter Home from WW I

By on November 11, 2007 – 8:56 am  6 Comments

Kathryn Britton, MAPP '06, former software engineer, is a coach working with professionals to increase well-being, energy, and meaning in their work lives (Theano Coaching LLC). She is also a writing coach, facilitator of writing workshops, and teacher of positive workplace concepts at the University of Maryland. Her own books include Smarts and Stamina on using positive psychology principles to build strong health habits and Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life. Full bio. Kathryn's articles are here.

Today is the day we traditionally celebrate the end of World War I with a moment of silence around 11AM. We think of that war stopping at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, but I guess human things don’t stop that suddenly and symmetrically. In honor of Veteran’s Day, I have attached a letter my grandfather sent my grandmother. It was dated November 7th, 1918. She had written on the envelope, “Telling about the war stopped.”

Ai Sugg 1918

Ai Sugg 1918

Nov 7, 1918

My Darling,

We were expecting to march tonight and had everything packed and on the wagons when the order was rescinded and we had to unroll and make our beds again.

About an hour after supper, when everyone was settled down to his magazine (the regiment has a pretty good supply of American periodicals just now) or his poker or crap game, something exciting started. There was shouting, and yelling, firing of pistols and rifles and the shooting of rockets and farther back the blowing of whistles. Rumor said that the war had stopped. Peace had come!!! Just now the whole front is ablaze. Let us rejoice!

May God be praised!

Maybe we may be on our way home before the new year begins.

Lt. Tinklepaugh just said, “If peace is come now, I can almost forgive the Germans for everything they have done.” Which I think is typical of Americans’ attitude. Altho’ we are all here to finish the thing in the right way, we will all rejoice greatly when we know it is finished. We are fighters but we have not become lovers of the game. We will love peace all the more.

Bushels of Love from

Your rejoicing husband



  • Angus says:


    What a fabulous letter! It brings tears to my eyes. It expresses so much of human hope, endeavour and generosity.

    it is wonderful of you to share it with us.

    Best aye

  • Angus says:

    PS – the family likeness is clear in the photos – as well as in the generosity of spirit

  • Double thanks, Angus!

    This summer, my aunt gave me the packet of letters that my grandmother had saved. If you’d like to read another, I posted one that he wrote about having a day off — picking cherries and finding a place to bathe — on my blog here:

    I filed it under Savoring, Good with the Bad, Stories, and Gratitude …


  • […] Positive Psychology News Daily wrote an interesting post today on Veteranâs Day: A Letter Home from WW IHere’s a quick excerpt By Kathryn Britton[IMG] Kathryn Britton, MAPP, CPC, former software engineer, is a certified professional coach working with professionals to increase well-being, energy, and meaning in their lives. Visit Theano Coaching. She is writing about her experiences as a Positive Organization Advisor within a very large corporation. She recently started a blog, Reflections on Positive Psychology. Full bio. Kathryn writes on the 7th of each month, and her past articles are here. Today is the day we tra […]

  • Christine Duvivier says:

    Kathryn, what a beautiful posting and a beautiful letter. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  • […] About my paternal grandfather who claimed that he never missed an election, not even a local school board race, in his long adult life. As we face the difficult questions about how to end the war in Iraq, I think about his experience as an officer on the Western Front and the letter that he wrote my grandmother about jubilation as World War I ended.. […]

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