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Date: March 17th 1918

March 17th, 1918

Dear Home Folks:

St. Patrick's Day, 2:30 P.M. and as I am on duty on the exchange and not very busy I want to write home. Not that there it is any news but just to let you know that I am OK and because it is St. Patrick's Day and all that means to me. I received a letter the night before last dated February 10. Canadian mails have been a bit irregular lately and letters have been taking from four to five weeks on the way.

You have certainly had a cold winter of it haven't you? I think I could appreciate some good Canadian cold and snow now. A nice sleigh drive or a good skate would be just about all right. Such weather out here, however, under present conditions would be rather unpleasant and we have been very fortunate in having so little of it this winter. This is a glorious day. The air temperature is about fifty-five degrees. The sun is shining bright and clear and a gentle breeze is blowing from the south, the kind of day on which one feels like living and working. Like doing something which is really worthwhile. Oh, the harsh irony of Fate which decides that men should spend the best years of their lives
in a continual work of destruction, - systemized destruction of life and property, by means of the most ingenious and fiendish implements of destruction which modern scientists and inventors can devise, in order to bring about a state of universal peace and good will under democratic governments. But it is really a case of history repeating itself for all down through the ages nothing which is really worthwhile has been accomplished without the shedding of blood and the loss of human life. And so I like to think that because of the greater slaughter and wholesale destruction, that in the days to come, when peace shall again be restored, a greater reformation will sweep the world than has ever
before been known. In the days which are to come we will not go back to pre-war conditions and be content to live on, raising armies and building fleets in preparation for another great world war. We will have learned a terrible and an expensive lesson gained from bitter experience and that lesson will be so indelibly stamped on our minds and characters as to drive our every thought and action.

I am beginning to look forward to leave now. Was looking at the list last night and found myself much nearer the top then I had expected. In fact I may possibly get away this month and will go early in April at the very latest. In a way I would rather not go until later for the country would be much nicer the last of May or the first of June than now, especially Scotland. However I will not postpone it when it comes even though it is a little early in the season. Possibly if I get fourteen days as I expect I will need a little more money than I will be able to draw from my pay. In that case I will cable for some.
You may get the cable before you receive this letter, but I thought I would mention it so that you would understand.

St. Patrick's Day and my twenty-first birthday. In spite are two and a half years in the Army and some twenty-two months in France trying to the best of my ability to fill a man's place, and, I flatter myself, with passable success, until today I have not been entitled according to law to call myself a man. But now that I have reached my majority I shall try in the future to make myself even more worthy of my self and of the name by which I am known than in the past. I wish I had been able to spend the day with you but no use crying over spilt milk and perhaps this time next year I will be back home again. Next best to being present in person my thoughts have been dwelling on the old home all day and I know that your thoughts and blessings have been with me.

Now Mother I think I must close for lack of news. Will write again soon. All well as usual.

Love to all from, Harold