Safeguarding the Memories of Those Who Have Proudly Served

Memorial Day weekend is our traditional start of summer but it’s also a time to remember the many men and women who have served our country. Photos and videos remind us of the challenges they faced and the impact on their loved ones and communities.

We need to write our family stories and permanently safeguard our memories so future generations can remember how others have sacrificed for our freedoms and the things we enjoy.

World War Two Navy Lieutenant
Photo of Lt Donald McCormick, World War Two served on U.S.S. Birmingham; photo from Don Simkovich

Benefits of Sharing Stories

The people we see in older photos can seem distant, even if they’re related through our family lines. But when we add a brief story then they become personal and we’re more likely to feel a connection.

When I started as a photo coach in the mid-90s, I taught my clients how to write brief notes in traditional scrapbook albums to show who was in the picture; what was happening; and when it took place.

Someone who didn’t know the people in the pictures could leaf through the photos and, with a little imagination, enjoy what was happening.

The challenge was that sharing before our digital era meant that you were limited to letting people in one place look through the albums. You couldn’t easily scale. And the albums always had the risk of being lost, stolen, or damaged. And once the photos were gone, they were gone for good.

Benefits of Permanent, Digital Storage

Now we can write stories once and we have options for sharing them with only our closest family and friends or letting others discover and enjoy what they find.

This is how I came across the story of Jack Snyder, an unassuming man from western Pennsylvania who I never met personally but I learned about him through photos uploaded to FOREVER®, a forward-thinking company that makes permanent, digital storage a reality.

Photos of World War Two Vet
A screenshot of Jack Snyder’s public account on FOREVER(r)

His family used the option for “public” settings so others could both read and see his story:

 

Soldier World War TwoOn August 10, 1944, Jack was shipped overseas and joined G Co., 2 Bn., 24th Regiment, 4th Marine Division on Maui, T.H. Jack’s unit trained for combat throughout the fall of 1944.

On January 3, 1945 they embarked aboard the USS Mellette. Jack and the other junior Marines did not know their destination. On February 19, 1945, the division landed on Iwo Jima.

The first wave of the invasion was pinned-down and suffered heavy losses on the beach. Jack was part of the successful second wave during that first day of the battle. Jack was in combat until March 16, 1945 when the 4th Marine Division’s area was secured.

 

 

 

 

 

Storing Documents

Others gave their lives and their families learned about the deaths through telegrams like this one shared by a friend of mine, Don Simkovich, whose grandfather he never met (pictured above) was killed during a ship’s explosion in the South Pacific:

He uploaded the telegram to his FOREVER® album and is beginning to chronicle the story more fully.

 

Own Your Storage Space

The men and women who served in World War Two are yielding to the passing of time. About 16 million veterans served in World War Two and the National World War Two museum in New Orleans estimates that around 240,000 remain alive today. Those who were in their teens in the mid-1940s are now in their mid-90s.

Veterans of the Korean War and Vietnam War need their stories preserved, too, since the veterans who served then now range in age from their 70s to 90s.

Korean War Memorial
Korean War Memorial screenshot via abmc.gov

But where will you keep the photos, video clips, and letters? Just saying “online” isn’t safe enough.

Social media and free or low-cost storage sites aren’t the permanent storage solutions you need for a few reasons:

  • You’re renting and their Terms of Service work in their favor, not yours
  • Your data is used for marketing and advertising purposes
  • Technology will change and platforms in use today may not accept your files in the future
  • They won’t safely digitize your older media files
The Three Soldiers Statue, Vietnam Memorial; photo Tom Fisk, Pexels

FOREVER® is committed to staying current with technology because they’re investing in on-going research and development. That’s how they guarantee that they’ll permanently and safely store your files.

Since you can own your digital albums, you have full control over your files and you don’t have to worry about data mining or your interests being used for market research.

 

 

 

 

 

How May I Help?

Office Hours with Melody Event
Melody Whitehead, Safeguard Your Memories

Contact me if you have questions about organizing photos or storing them.

And you’re invited to visit my Events page to join others in learning how to use your photos in writing your family’s history.

There are so many more benefits of FOREVER® that I’ve not touched on so you can see more for yourself with 2GB of storage space for free.

 

 

As a photo coach, I work with a caring network across the U.S. and in Canada. I’ve mentored many so if you’re interested in a business of your own or adding to existing professional services I’ll gladly share my experiences.

 

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Safeguard Your Memories

At Safeguard Your Memories, we go beyond mere photo storage. We empower you through personalized photo coaching, guiding you through the process of photo digitization, organization, and creative printing solutions.

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