As I mentioned in this post, on Thursday I'll be guest lecturing in US History classes. Tomorrow I'll organize the talk itself, today I set out gathering my "realia".
I've copied pictures of my grandfather and other crew in front of a B-17, pictures of my grandmother in her dress uniform and with others in her unit, and a genuine V-mail my grandfather sent home to Pennsylvania shortly after arriving in England. I'll pass around a few of the insignia from nana's uniform. I'll be bringing some Nazi Germany coins and a 5-mark bill, as well as a coin from Occupied Netherlands. I also found French 1- and 2-franc coins from just before the invasion, and 1- and 2-franc coins from the occupation.
In addition to telling some of nana's stories, I'll read a little from Andy Rooney's book My War, about his time as a Stars and Stripes reporter.
There are fewer years between the end of WWII and the year of my birth, than there are between my birth and today. In fact, there are less than half as many. It's history to me, but not ancient history. And it's fascinating.