My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I

My Fellow Soldiers:

About the Exhibit

Open April 6, 2017 – November 29, 2018

Refer to caption

American Red Cross worker helping to write a letter
for a soldier inquiring about the allotment that his
family has not received.
Courtesy National Archives
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My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I gallery
Photo by Juan Carlos Briceño

My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I is located in the Mail Call Gallery of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, Washington, DC. This exhibition examines America’s role in the war as recorded through the unique lens of personal correspondence written by soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, aid workers, and their loved ones on the home front. Letters contain the stories of these men and women in their own words. What and how people wrote were influenced by censorship rules and social expectations. With few other forms of communication readily available at the time, letters were a lifeline for maintaining relationships and hope.

The centennial of World War I encourages reflection on the war’s importance in shaping the United States and the globe. A reconsideration of the war provides perspective on similar issues—ranging from patriotism to censorship—today.

My Fellow Soldiers: Letters from World War I  was created by the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in collaboration with the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University. This exhibition is made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Postal Museum’s History Fund.

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