Saturday, April 25, 2009

Red Cross WWI records

Red Cross records from WWI have just been 'discovered' in Geneva, Switzerland. Twenty million carefully noted records of war casualties have been sitting in the basement of the Red Cross headquarters totally untouched for more than ninety years. Amazing. They'll start digitalizing the records this fall. 

If I ever get done exploring my mom's past, I might start on my dad's. Growing up grandparent-less (ie. rootless) has given me a hunger for the past. Most of what I know about my paternal grandfather I learned in secret. Nobody's supposed to know that he committed suicide after returning from WWI. But the truth is so much more interesting than just the facts. It's the human factor - it's why numbers need words to tell a story. Even the photos aren't enough. Put the three together:  numbers, words, and photos, then you start to have a story. 

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