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Monday, November 10, 2008

Honoring Those Who Serve

From 1943 to 1946, Lloyd Ray of Diamond Lake, produced a homespun newsletter known as The Rays (cover of the September 1943 edition shown here). The large undertaking gave the community and Ray's close-knit, extended family a venue to keep in touch when so many were so far from home. The newsletter re-printed letters from servicemen and women, and featured news of the area, including wedding announcements. Lloyd's cousin, Fern Ray Gover, created most of the illustrations that brought the newsletter to life.

One of the letters printed in The Rays, was written by Private William "Bill" Whitney: "Someone has got to fight this war, and while I get tired of Army life in the rough, I keep telling myself how important I am to the war effort. I am as important as President Roosevelt or any general. When the history of this war is written, it will be the little guys--yes, the doughboys--that will have done the real fighting. This is why I try to do a good job, regardless of how rugged it gets." Private Whitney was killed in action on June 10, 1944 in France.

In this photo from 1943, fathers are reading letters from their sons in the service. The caption reads, "The boys in service are not the only ones who like letters." From left to right: Harry Pfannenstill, Malcolm Clendening, Frank Kelroy and Will Ray.

Will provided the photo to his younger brother, Lloyd, for the "Training Camp Edition" of The Rays. To view the "Training Camp Edition" in its entirety go to Ililnois Digital Archives

The Rays newsletters are part of the Lake County Discovery Museum's permanent collections, and are available online at the Illinois Digital Archives

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