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A war letter to Mama
Liberty lore
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Many of our young Liberty County men served in World War I. Three sons of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bacon Fraser Sr. of Hinesville and their nephew who lived with them were in it at the same time.
Harry Fraser was a second lieutenant, Joseph (Joe) B. Fraser Jr. was a first lieutenant, Donald Fraser was a captain and Wallace Mills, all served in France.
Therefore, there were four blue stars on the service flag that proudly, but sadly, hung over the front steps of the Fraser home during WWI.  
The Armistice went into effect, Nov. 11, 1918. Harry and Joe had a joyful reunion meeting about four o’clock in the afternoon.
The following is part of a letter Lt. Joe Fraser wrote to his mother Nov. 12, 1918, from France, that tells of the last few minutes of the war and of his feelings.

My precious Mother,
I want to write tonight, but I know I should not, for I cannot write a very cheerful letter.
I know we should all be very happy tonight and grateful to the All Wise God for bringing this terrible war to an end. And really, I am happy, but there’s that feeling of sadness which I cannot help and only time will wear away. I have had so many horrible scenes impressed upon my mind lately that it is hard to blot them from my memory.”
“I was with the infantry when they went ‘over the top’ on their final drive and have just returned, the regiment I was with being relieved. An officer from every artillery regiment has to accompany the infantry regiment that it is supporting to keep up the communication between the infantry and artillery during the drive. I was the officer from my regiment detailed for this duty. (Joe was serving in Battery D under Capt. Harry S. Truman).
I had no fear, as I’ve said before, I had absolute faith in God, but to see men killed on all sides of you, making the supreme sacrifice the last days of the war, is a sight that will take time to forget ... “
“Harry and I are feeling fine and haven’t a scratch on us. Of course, we are a little tired but it won’t take long to get over that. You can imagine how glad I was to see him safe and sound after the last gun had fired. I almost felt like weeping on his neck.”
“The guns on both sides kept firing right up to the last minute. Eleven o’clock yesterday will always be a memorable time. It seems almost too good to be true. Everything is so quiet here now, and you feel like you are in a new world since you can walk around without your gas mask and without shells falling all around. This is the first time I have been out of the sound of guns in over two months. So you know it is quite a relief to be quiet once more ... Keep us in your prayers.
With much love,
Your son, Joe.

Early in May 1919, Harry and Joe arrived on the train at McIntosh and were met by the entire family. Donald and Wallace arrived later.
Layton Fraser said, “I have often thought of the courage, patriotism and faith exhibited by our father and mother and sisters during these horrible years and the eagerness with which we hoped for letters each day. There was little talking about the situation for that was the only way tears could be kept under control. There was much silent prayer.”
Long years later, a card with an American flag on it was found preserved in Mother’s Bible with a verse written by an anonymous author.
It read, “God bless and keep our men, our gallant, fighting men. Oh, guard our men; make them victorious, their valor glorious, they are so dear to us, God save our men.”
Let us remember all our veterans and take time to thank them and our servicemen and women who are serving our country today to keep America’s freedom.
We salute you!
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