UNION, NJ - Marilyn Pfaltz was cleaning out her mother-in-law’s house when she saw a trunk full of photos and papers had been saved for more than fifty years. Among the treasures were letters home from Hugo Menzel Pfaltz, a New Jersey WWI soldier, describing his experiences at Camp Dix. He was a member of the 78th Lightning Division in France 1918-1919.

“The letters, telling the story of so many young men who served their country during the Great War, are both funny and heartwarming,” said Pfaltz. “When I held one hundred-year-old letters, I felt history in my hands and that this was story that needed to be told.”

Pfaltz will share these letters and their stories, along with photos and footnotes, at a virtual free event presented by the Union Public Library on Tues., July 21 at 1:00pm. The event is free and open to the public. To sign up, please register at least an hour in advance at bit.ly/UPLlive.

Hugo was a prodigious letter writer to his loving family. As he writes, his mood swings between great pride in service to his country and the misery of marching through the mud of France sleeping on dust covered rocks. This young doughboy’s experience is universal to all those who serve. The letters also serve as a reminder of how history is remembered and available because a devoted Mother saved her son’s letters describing his war time experiences as an army private serving in France. Marilyn Pfaltz is co-founding partner of P&R Associates, a communications firm, a working photographer, and co-author of several cookbooks. For questions about the presentation, please call 908-851-5450.