Letters: a form of communication that is quite outdated, but many people love getting mail delivered to their house. Though letters have been replaced by highly efficient emails, what about 76 years ago? Back then, letters were quite prevalent as forms of communication, especially during World War II. Letters could be sent during this time for a multitude of reasons- this could be to help spread information to soldiers, send coded messages, or for those serving to get a much-needed message from home to boost morale. In young John Gonsalves’s case, he sent a letter to his mother entailing his overseas experiences. But on John’s letter’s voyage, it vanished, not to be seen for many years.
Woburn, Massachusetts, was the intended destination of this message. Seeing as the letter would be coming from the seas of Germany, one would think that it wouldn’t take long to get to John’s mom. But, this seemingly regular act turned out to be a rare occurrence. By the time the 1946 letter would get to where it needed to go, the year was 2021, the letter ended up in Pennsylvania, and it wasn’t John’s mother who received it. Unfortunately, John’s mother and even John himself were unable to have the chance to see the letter for themselves, but there was one person who did.
Who was this? It was John’s (now widowed) wife, Angelina Gonsalves. It had been roughly six years since her beloved husband had passed away, and it was like any other day in Pennsylvania. That was until the mail got delivered. This wasn’t your average delivery- the mailman came with knowledge of her husband’s deeds and happily handed over the late John’s letter. As one can imagine, getting a letter from your spouse of 61 years would ultimately bring tears out of any person’s eyes. This letter could be one of the single greatest gifts anyone could get, even if it just talks about how average life was for John. Such simple writing made Angelina feel like John was there, telling her about his journey overseas in Germany. Included with this already breathtaking discovery was a letter from the postal service themselves, thanking John’s family and how glad they are to help preserve history itself. Now Angelina and her five children can rest peacefully knowing they have John’s letter in their own hands, instead of it being lost in delivery.