Photographs — From the Eiffel Tower to Two Bits

posted by Sharon April 13, 2014 14 Comments
Paris 1945 Eiffel Tower

What photographs do you treasure the most? One of my favorite albums is this one, with its elegant leather cover.

My dad made this album to chronicle his time in France in the army just after the end of WWII.

He was stationed at Le Havre, a harbor city where the Seine River flows into the English Channel.

He took photos of his friends and named them all in his album. And he carefully labeled the places he enjoyed visiting.

Being so close to Paris, his unit spent time in the eternal city. Isn’t it interesting that the Eiffel Tower looks just the same today? And the beauty of Notre Dame continues to leave visitors breathless.

He captured this action shot on the beach.

This chilling sequence shows the damage Le Havre suffered in the war.

But joy was seeping back into life there. This couple was able to pull off a fancy wedding.

And the men in my dad’s unit adopted this little cutie.

My dad never talked much about his army days. I’m so thankful to have this record he meticulously put together to document his time in France.

How about you? What photographs add meaning to your life?

Linking up with a song-inspired party, Song-ography, where the theme this week is “Photographs” by Nickelback.

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14 Comments

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kathy April 13, 2014 at 3:59 am

What an amazing treasure in the form of photographs you have here! Truly priceless. And it looks like you inherited your dad’s “photographer” genes. I love that you have bits of history right at your fingertips, and right in front of your eyes. Amazing. Thank you for joining in at Song-ography.

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin April 13, 2014 at 4:19 am

Oh, Sharon, what an amazing treasure to have. Thank you for sharing with us!

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laura bruno lilly April 13, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Aside from the amazing historical significance of these photos, the fact that they were meticulously arranged, dated and named by your father is extraordinary. Cool.
peace

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Carol Blackburn April 13, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Sharon, what wonderful old photographs. When holding photos like that one can almost feel the history behind them.

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kim April 13, 2014 at 2:36 pm

I’m blown away by this bit of history! The album is gorgeous and so full of stories. What a treasure. This really encourages me to continue documenting.

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Jackie April 13, 2014 at 3:18 pm

This album is amazing!!!

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a spirit of simplicity April 13, 2014 at 4:07 pm

oh that is a wonderful keepsake for your family. The Eiffel tower may look the same but I am sure that much of what Paris looked like just after WWII has changed considerably.

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Andrea @ From the Sol April 13, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Sweet memories … I had two uncles who faught in WWII. LIke your father they didn’t talk about it much, but unlike your father they didn’t leave a meticulous record of their experience. You are so lucky to have this. The young people of today have no way of understanding what the war was all about and how hard it was on everyone. You are the keeper of some of our most important history and it comes in the form of treasued memories of your father. What a blessing …

Andrea @ From the Sol

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Adrienne April 14, 2014 at 12:28 am

These are amazing! My dad did his military service in France about a decade after your dad! I have some of his photos from that time – thought he did not save the photos in nearly the same way as yours did! Since I’m an avid scrapbooker, I deeply appreciate the care he took to chronicle his time there! AND….having lived in Paris for quite a while, I will tell you that the timeless quality of the city is clearly part of its magic!!

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nicki April 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Wow. Just … WOW. I am so impressed at how detailed your father chronicled his service abroad. My great uncle struggled with his time in the army and didn’t want to talk about it until recently (in his 90s) where we have learned of many horrific situations he encountered. My father was stationed on a ship and shared none of it. He was a late recruit and felt he didn’t do enough to earn the honor of ‘veteran’ status even though he served proudly and did what was asked of him. He once commented that he knew too many who endured far harsher realities of military service; too many that lost their life.

What a treasure of photos – and a testament to so much that is lost to war.

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Ida P. Krause April 15, 2014 at 12:25 am

Wow this is amazing and what an awesome keepsake you have there.

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Molly April 15, 2014 at 9:45 pm

These are truly a wonderful thing to have. My Mum has a few old family photos but nothing like this

Mollyxxx

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ImagesByCW (@ImagesByCW) April 16, 2014 at 2:32 am

What wonderful photos, Sharon! And you are sharing them with us – that is awesome. I can see why you love that album so much. I really love going through old photos, I just wished I had more. I have a few, digitized, the originals are with my mom, and after seeing yours I had to go through them again and linger in memories. Thank you.

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Carolyn April 20, 2014 at 4:02 am

Those are priceless, Sharon! How wonderful that he left them for you and your family!

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