MEDIA

Letters from the Front

You can read samples of Frederick Mauriello's letters home by clicking on the thumbnails below.

WW2 Letter October 26, 1944
October 26, 1944
WW2 Letter January 9, 1945
January 9, 1945
WW2 Letter April 25, 1945
April 25, 1945

A letter home from Frederick Mauriello, sent on May 8, 1945.

Somewhere in Germany The First Army
Victory Day May 8, 1945


Dear Ma,

Today the war in Europe is over! All over the world people are celebrating. There are bands, speech[es] and parties. The civilian population has gone mad with the spirit of victory. Everyone is yelling[,] "We won the war."

Everyone is enthused except we who did the fighting. The boys are quiet and subdued. No speeches, no wild shouts or wild singing. Its quiet. We have waited too long for victory to come. The battle for victory was fought weeks ago. Peace is merely an after climax.

I don't [know] why; but the boys are not cheering. Instead of a Roman Holiday we have a work day. We are dissapointed [sic] in ourselves. The way we feel about the ending of the war is one of the biggest dissapointments [sic] in our life. We can't generate a feeling of excitement or enthusiam [sic]. We seem tired and lazy. There seems to be no thrills left in life[.] Life seems to be a repitition [sic] of monotonous days. We have finished a gigantic task. The worlds' [sic] biggest bloodiest war. "Little man[,] what now?"

The world pauses and takes a holiday. Not so the army. We are merely workmen who have finished their day's labor. A dull feeling of satisfaction for what acheivements [sic] we have accomplished during our day of labor. We finished for the day; but tomorrow is another day and there still lies another gigantic task before us. We are merely pausing to gather strength for the morrow.

Today should be a day of prayer instead of revelry. Prayers to God. Prayers of Thanksgiving. Thank God that so many of us have been spared. Thank God the war never touched our homeland. Prayers for those who gave all to their country. Those whose ears and eyes have been closed by the touch of death. May God have mercy on their souls. Remember them in your wild reveling.

The war has cost an unimaginable amount of money. More than that it has cost lives and years of youth that can never be replaced. As I write my mind is bringing me back to my high school days. The days where the big struggle was football. The boys of that team that we called our own, are walking across the page. I can't see them [--] all my eyes are blustered with tears. The boys of that team will never gather together as a unit to talk over past glories. They played the game too hard in in [sic] the fields of Belgium and France. We miss them. They will only run and play in past memories. The game is over for them. They didn't event see the last touchdown drive. No, merely put their names in gold in the towns and cities' memorials.

Go on and celebrate. Tonight I live in recollections and memories. Tomorrow we continue to train for the task lying before us.

Love,
Freddy


Transcribed by Christopher E. Mauriello

©1996-2022: Christopher E. Mauriello, Ph.D., Roland J. Regan, Jr., J.D., and Purdue University Press. Reproduction of any and all images and/or text without first obtaining the express written permission of the author's and publisher herein is prohibited.