June 6, 2017
This is “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
Today is “D-Day”, which was June 6, 1944. This was the day when 160,000 Allied troops landed on the 50 mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Adolf Hitler’s Nazi German soldiers. More than 9,000 Allied soldiers lost their lives or were wounded. This began the slow defeat of Hitler’s threat to the world.
On the third floor of our Museum at the corner of Sixth and Adams Streets, Heather, our Curator, has created a display titled “I am sending my love and kisses, catch em, Honey!!!”
She has found letters that were donated by Geary County soldiers and their families, which may have been tucked away in attics, closets and basements throughout the county. Many of these letters in the display are those of eyewitness accounts of famous battles, historic events, or encounters with prominent military leaders. The more personal items of correspondence, such as heartfelt expressions of affection or words of support and encouragement between separated loved ones, offer valuable insight into the wartime experience.
Geary County is a community with a long history of military involvement. Families from this area have sent sons and daughters into the military from the 1850’s, when the county was founded and Fort Riley was established, to the present day. Likewise, many military families have chosen to make Geary County their home. The letters and souvenirs that soldiers sent home helped their family and friends and now us to connect to wartime experiences.