Keepsakes From Another Continent
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.
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