When we think of souvenirs of war, especially from World War II, the images that typically come to mind are of pistols or helmets once belonging to enemy soldiers. Maybe silverware or even stationery from Mussolini's villa. Something taken as a reminder of grim circumstances, to be carefully placed in a box and looked at once every so often.
There is another kind of souvenir of war though; a happier one. Reminders to family and friends that someone who was away from home to train with the Army was thinking of them. Many items, such as the satin pillowcase pictured above, were available for purchase at Army camps across the United States.
Postcards, greeting cards, matchbooks, and pins were also available for purchase. Accompanied by a letter stating "Dear Mom and Dad, I'm doing fine," these items helped family members back home keep their hopes up, show their pride, and maybe to worry just a little bit less.
Souvenirs weren't just for those back home, though. T-shirts, photo albums, pins and patches were also kept by soldiers themselves. Many of these items have now found a home at the 10th Mountain Division Resource Center and are available to the public during regular library hours.
For more information on the 10th Mountain Division Resource Center, contact Keli Schmid at 720-865-1812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.