Open April 6, 2017 – December 2, 2018
My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I is located in the Mail Call Gallery of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, Washington, DC. This exhibition examines America’s role in the war as recorded through the unique lens of personal correspondence written by soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, aid workers, and their loved ones on the home front. Letters contain the stories of these men and women in their own words. What and how people wrote were influenced by censorship rules and social expectations. With few other forms of communication readily available at the time, letters were a lifeline for maintaining relationships and hope.
The centennial of World War I encourages reflection on the war’s importance in shaping the United States and the globe. A reconsideration of the war provides perspective on similar issues—ranging from patriotism to censorship—today.
My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I was created by the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in collaboration with the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University. This exhibition is made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Postal Museum’s History Fund.
Please note, due to Smithsonian Institution conservation and preservation protocols, the selection of objects and images on this website may differ from the items in the museum’s My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I exhibit.