1918 Mothers Day Letter EB3 to EB4

To Lizzie Bradbury, on Mother’s Day

Lizzie Bradbury is a ghost I conjure on Mother’s Day. I have never seen her face, but I have heard her voice. Her husband and her son spoke of her, to her, in letters and diary entries. A rare note in her own hand appears twice in the over one thousand letters that have come […]


The First Newburyport Boy to be Killed in France

(Originally Posted on July 26, 2018) “On August 9, the newspaper carried on its front page the news of the battlefield death of eighteen year old Private John Henry. He had been killed on July 19 and his parents had received the telegram informing them of their son’s death on August 8 – nearly three […]


Remembering Eben, One Month Later

Custom House Maritime Museum, July 6, 2018. Photo Courtesy of Carrie O’Donnell (Originally posted July 15, 2019) One month ago, nearly to the day, Cynthia August and I packed up our little attic in Chateau Thierry and headed home. The week we spent with Eben in France was tucked away in a special corner of […]


Blood Is Mingled With Your Soil

(Originally posted June 13, 2018) Today, one hundred years ago, Eben “Bunny” Bradbury, a marine corps private, was killed by machine gun fire “just before reaching the woods”. In the ensuing chaos, someone failed to report his death correctly, or, if I’m feeling like a conspiracy theorist, someone chose to obscure his death. In any […]


This Magnificent Work of Art

(Originally posted June 11, 2018) La Grande Guerre, I just can’t quit you… This morning we awoke to more rain, and since we have spent the last two days soaked to the skin (happily, but still), we decided to postpone our daily pilgrimage to Belleau Wood until the afternoon and take in something completely different. […]

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There Are Bones, Part II

(Originally posted June 10, 2018) One of the original documents that I am carrying on this trip is a letter from the Red Cross to Eben Bradbury’s father. Sent on February 28, 1919, this letter identifies the location of the body of his son, Eben Bradbury, Jr. Prior to World War I, battlefield casualties had […]


There are Bones. There are Bones. There are Bones.

(Originally posted June 10, 2018) We drove 472 miles today, or to be fair, Cynthia drove and I looked up the passing French towns whose names all sound like designer purses or skin cream, and occasionally navigated. It is 1:30 in the morning and I am so tired I am slumped over nearly in half, […]


Time Will Not Dim the Glory of Their Deeds

(Originally posted June 18, 2018) “Time dims everything, pal”, said an older Brit reading these words, spoken by General Pershing at the dedication of the Chateau-Thierry Memorial in 1937 and then carved in stone below what can only be described as a squatting eagle (poised to spring, one assumes). I think the old Brit is […]

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Reunited, And It Feels So…

(Originally posted June 8, 2018) I arrived in Paris yesterday (Thursday) afternoon after very long sixteen hours of delays and flights and grumpy Norwegian Air employees, none of whom were actually Norwegian, as far as I can tell. My grandfather held the Norwegians to an impossibly high standard, as he believed they were the best […]

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