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Keepsakes From Another Continent

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When my wife and I moved to Belgium and our adult children came to visit us, I’m almost certain they were expecting their first pit stop in Brussels to include great chocolate, perhaps some famous Belgian mussels or a lovely stroll across the architecturally eclectic central square, the “Grand Place”.

While indeed my children did eventually enjoy these tourist perks, their trip to Belgium initially took an unusual detour—our first stop was at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium. And it was intentional.

My grandfather Felix Guilday served in the First World War, and was followed by my father who served in World War II.  Like millions of Americans, they left their families, travelled across continents and bore arms in service to their country. The visit to the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium underscored the heroic tales of sacrifice undertaken by all our Veterans whose bravery has touched our own family history’s but in a larger sense as well, our very way of life as free citizens.

When I recently found out that a US Veteran’s once lost keepsake box from WWII had been surprisingly recovered here in Belgium and transported by FedEx Express back to the United States, I was moved and proud of our company’s capacity to help to bring those precious memories back to life.

Sixty-seven years ago, Army Private First Class John Alfred D’Amore served in US armed forces in Belgium during WWII.  During that time, he was in love with a woman, Rose Archie, who later became his wife. Fitting with his lastname D’Amore literally meaning “of love”, the young soldier carefully and secretly carried a keepsake box of photos and love letters from his fiancée Rose.  As the ravages of war ensued, the keepsake box was lost but the soldier safely returned home to marry his sweetheart and build a family.

ww2 lettersIt was only this past June that the small wooden box was rediscovered by a woman cleaning an attic in the Ardennes region of Belgium and the adventure of finding its rightful owner began.  

When FedEx Express stepped in to ensure the keepsake box arrived safely in the hands of John Alfred D’Amore, the surprise package was delivered in its rightful style-- hand delivered by FedEx couriers who are also US Veterans.

I can only imagine the nostalgia this small box brought the D’Amore couple and the happiness it gave to their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, who had heard about the keepsakes in the past but could now appreciate the lost photos and letters for themselves.

I have endless admiration for the courage, sacrifice and stoicism of our Veterans. I am also incredibly proud and grateful for the fine work our team members demonstrated in helping this retired couple relive some tender moments from their past.

Thank You Team FedEx from Belgium to the US for your outstanding service to this deserving couple.  And to our Veterans, a heartfelt thank you once again.

Should you wish to read the full story of the D’Amore keepsake box, I invite you to visit USO on Patrol magazine (pages 10-11):  http://www.onlinedigitalpubs.com/publication/?m=5425&l=1

 

Comments (24) 

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great story Mr Leary Tell Family I said Hi

My husband Tom ,was US Air Force and our family were stationed at Hahn Air Base Germany, 1980=1984. We were not far from Belgium, so we did visit there often. I remember the first time I visited and I was shown a memorial to our Americans that lost their lives durring WW 2. A Belgium man said to me"Every ( Belgium) person here will always treat you and every American with the greatest honor and respect,because your people have fought and died here for our freedom." I wish I could remember all of it but I know I was so touched by his statement and felt love and pride for our people who gave their lives, but also for all the military who served . My dad had served in WW2 in the Navy, and we had been blest that he did return home from the war. My husband had served in Viet Nam and survived to serve 22 years before he retired. I loved this story. m

It is always so wonderful to read sucess stories like this one, and to know that FedEx is making a differance in the world! This was an amazing read! Thank you for posting this! I will never forget what FedEx did to deliver those photos to that famliy! That is so nice of them!

I agree with, "I have endless admiration for the courage, sacrifice and stoicism of our Veterans." The only difference I find here you might call symantic, but it is not. It was not a, "sacrifice" that the vets were dying. They were fighting and dying for a value they'd rather not live without - and won that great value of freedom. If they had fought for a lesser value, then it would have been a true sacrifice. I'm being technical but it was also such clarity they too had to have in order to know what they were fighting for. I have not forgotten and will not forget.

Ya learn something new eeyvrady. It's true I guess!

Just a wonderful love story and thanks for sharing!

Beautiful, touching story.

Impressive, we have to learn a lot of people sacrifice in that hard times of both wars of world. I´m an european and I try to imagine how strong I would be to left behind now parents, country,... There´s no doubt about D´amore family tears of emotion watching again these old photos of that distant adventure. Congratulations

What a lovely, heartwarming story. Thanks so much for sharing.

I have my box of memories from Vietnam. I know that FedEx made something special happen for the D'Amores. I am proud to say I work for FedEx

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