By J.G. Noll
While the digital age has changed the communication landscape for military families, there’s still nothing like receiving a hand-written letter from a deployed loved one — a shared experience that has united and connected generations of military families.
While letters have always made their way back and forth from the home front to the front lines, World War I was an invaluable moment for written correspondence. Compared to prior wars, transportation was faster, paper was more readily available and cheaper, postal systems were more organized, and more people were literate. The British postal service alone delivered more than two billion letters during the war with an average of 12 million delivered to soldiers every week.
To celebrate their new documentary, “The Great War,” and to commemorate the centennial of the U.S. entry into WWI, American Experience, an hour-long history series airing on PBS, is launching #WarLetterWednesday. From March to April 12, PBS will publish a new challenge for each Wednesday and invite the public to post. Anyone connected to a war or in possession of letters from a war is encouraged to share their historical documents using the hashtag #WarLetterWednesday. American Experience will also share select submissions on their social media platforms.
Even if you choose not to participate, you can search #WarLetterWednesday and follow @americanexperiencepbs on Instagram to see the submissions from around the world.