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This exhibit was presented by the National Postal Museum in partnership with The Legacy Project.

On the battlefront and at home, letters provide a vital connection between military service members and their families, friends, and loved ones. Motivated by the extraordinary circumstances of war, letter writers often reveal the priorities of life through vivid, heartfelt words and sentiments.

Every letter on display was lost or discarded by its original recipient. Found by strangers, these letters were recovered from the trash, yard sales, construction sites or former homes and were forwarded to The Legacy Project. While the background of some of the letters remains incomplete, these re-discovered papers offer irreplaceable perspectives on history.

Exhibit dates: November 11, 2005 – November 13, 2006

A serviceman reads a greeting card in Vietnam, 1967.
Photograph found with William McKinley’s World War II letters.
Courtesy of Andrew Carroll/The Legacy Project