One of my favorite parts of my job is seeing people share clippings of articles or photos from The Times Dispatch on Facebook or getting a phone call or email from someone who has enjoyed something they have read in The TD.

Often times it is a call from a grandparent who is pleased with seeing a photo of their grandchild or a share from a parent who is proud of an award their child has received.

Other times, it might just be that something that ran in The TD sparked a memory and led to a call or email from a reader.

One such example was a recent correspondence I received from Steve and Betty Snow of Michigan:

“My wife Betty and I would like to express our appreciation to The TD for the article ‘Fallen Soldier from LawCo still remembered in Netherlands,’ found on page A10 in the edition of May 6, 2020.

“Betty has a personal connection to the subject matter of the article. Like David Lambert, her uncle Flight Officer Willard Van Eyck, U.S. Army Air Forces, is also buried in the U.S. military cemetery at Margraten in the Netherlands.

“Willard Van Eyck, a glider pilot, lost his life in action March 24, 1945. In part because his family was of Dutch descent, it was decided that he should be buried in the Netherlands, rather than returned to the United States. A marker in his honor was, however, placed in the family burial plot in Holland, Michigan, so named by the town’s Dutch settlers.

“Except for the COVID-19 pandemic, which curtailed air travel between the U.S. and the Netherlands, we would have been in the Netherlands to help celebrate ‘Liberation Day,’ to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, and to honor her uncle who died in the Liberation of Europe from the Nazis.

“Like that of David Lambert, featured in the article, Willard Van Eyck’s grave has been adopted by a Dutch family, whom we had hoped to meet during our visit. Betty has contributed photographs of her uncle to the “Faces of Margraten” project, which seeks to put faces to the names of the fallen.

“We commend the TD and Lawrence County Historical Society President Jon Walter, who wrote the article, for honoring those who sacrificed their lives in World War II and for acknowledging the gratitude of the Dutch people.”

It always makes me feel good when people express their enjoyment of reading The TD. Many times I have received such a message at just the right time to pick up my spirits after a hard day’s work.

Sharing the stories of others, and then seeing those stories shared by others is definitely one of the highlights of my job.

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