Take the time to look into family history

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 18, 2018

Next week, a presentation will be held at the Hilda Hoffman Memorial Archive in honor of a Picayune soldier who was killed in combat in World War II. The war occurred so long ago – but will remain relevant. The acts carried out by countless soldiers and the experiences they had affect the world today – nothing would be the same without them.

When I visited my grandfather’s house as a child, all I cared about was playing with cousins, eating dessert and swimming in the pool. Now that I am older, I recognize the importance of learning about my family’s past.

Whenever I see my grandfather now, I ask him to tell me a story about his life. Since I started doing that, I have learned that his brother died in World War II, that he was a deputy, a crop duster, a newspaper editor, a published author and that he is an excellent singer.

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His stories have grasped my imagination and taught me a plethora of valuable lessons. It makes me incredibly sad to think that someday, when he passes away, these stories will disappear with him.

This happens every day. People inevitably pass away and take their experiences and memories with them. So many people get caught up in the busyness of day-to-day life, and don’t take the time to appreciate what they have. Instead, they take it for granted and fail to learn about experiences of the previous generations until those generations have faded into history.

Life may have been different 50 years ago, but the basic human experience hasn’t really changed. If a chance comes up to ask a parent, grandparent or great-grandparent to tell one of their stories, don’t pass it up. Their experiences may turn out to be invaluable.