The Meaning of a Handwritten Letter this Veteran's Day

The Meaning of a Handwritten Letter this Veteran's Day
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Published by Evan | SCOJO New York on Nov 11th 2020

When was the last time you wrote a letter? Not an email, a text, or even a tweet for that matter. A handwritten, signed, sealed, and delivered letter. Maybe it was a postcard to a friend while on vacation, wishing they were there. Perhaps it was a thank you note, expressing gratitude for those who attended your wedding. Regardless of the intentions, now think of the last time you received a letter. Recall the emotions you felt while holding the paper in your hands, reading the words whoever wrote them took time to articulate with a pen or pencil. Did you save that letter? Did you respond? Can you hear the voice of the person who wrote it reciting the words inside your head?

Perhaps nobody appreciates the gesture of writing and sending a letter as veterans do. For centuries, communication-by-letter has served as an expressive lifeline for anyone who's been away from loved ones during their service in the military. The United States is home to 18.8 million veterans (including over one million veterans in New York City) who value the importance of keeping in touch with loved ones, no matter how mundane or trivial those updates are. Our nation’s veterans have been writing wartime letters to friends, family, and lovers as far back as the inception of this country. Here’s an excerpt from Andrew Carroll’s 2006 book ‘Behind the Lines: Powerful and Revealing American and Foreign War Letters’, featuring a letter written by Private John Eggleston, writing to his fiance on October 27, 1776, while awaiting a British invasion in White Plains, New York.

“We have just arrived here after a most fatiguing March from East Chester. I got your letter at York Island, telling me I was a saucy fellow to kiss you before all the folks. Ah my darling, I wish the world knew you are to marry me…. I hope to come out all safe tomorrow. The thoughts of your dear promise has nerved my arm so far and will again… My loved one, I am writing this on the head of a drum, and would you believe it with a pointed stick. Remember me all my friends darling and tell Mother not to feel uneasy about her son. I am, my darling, your very humble servant and adorer.”

Eggleston returned from the war to ultimately be reunited with his darling, just as so many veterans from all experiences of combat have cherished that same privilege. Nonetheless, it cannot be appreciated enough how crucial, motivating, and hopeful these communicative tokens of gratitude can be to anyone who has, or is currently serving in our country’s armed forces.

On Veterans Day, something as simple as a handwritten letter can make a world of difference for someone who’s made sacrifices for all of us. In fact, any subtle form of veteran appreciation is essential to honoring our men and women in service. All across the country, there are ample opportunities to take part in both in-person and virtual events commemorating our armed services. Those who have served in the military can also check out the hundreds of restaurants and stores taking part in offering Veterans Day deals and discounts this year.

Right here in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has recently offered in-state veterans the Lifetime Liberty Pass, which permits qualified New York State veterans discounted use of state parks, historic sites, and a wide variety of recreational facilities. New York City will be the epicenter of Veterans Day activities and events, ranging from a number of virtual interviews and meet-and-greets with veterans and other active duty military personnel, to plenty of participating restaurants, retail stores, and businesses featuring various Veterans Day discounts and deals. We here at SCOJO New York would also like to show our appreciation to our veterans by offering Veterans Day discounts on a wide range of our luxury readers collection. Use code: SCOJOVETERAN at checkout to redeem!


(Featuring our Gels Original collection)

So for this Veterans Day, let us all take time to acknowledge the veterans in our lives and show them our appreciation for their service. It may not have to be a handwritten letter, although the effort would surely be treasured. It could be a phone call, a Skype session, a book recommendation, buying them lunch, or a glasses upgrade. Whatever your method of appreciation is, the term ‘it’s the thought that counts’ is never more applicable than on Veterans Day.