The Cigarette Box of Heilbronn

On this Memorial Day, I felt I should talk about my grandfather who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. I recently was gifted a cherished family artifact from WWII. It is a carved wooden cigarette box with a nice “automatic” dispensing feature. It sat on my grandfather’s end table the whole time I knew him. It was always of great interest to my child’s eyes and seeing my mother’s name and grandmother’s name so nicely painted on there fascinated me. Heilbronn 1945 was painted on the top, but ignored that and was always drawn to my mother and grandmother’s given names because they looked so perfectly painted on the box. Now when I look at I notice all the imperfections that must exist given the circumstances of its construction. It is the circumstances of that construction that I memorialize now.

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