May 19, 2019 – A long-forgotten souvenir

Ehrenbreitstein 1919

When I was growing up, this small black-framed photo was in the family desk.  I never really thought about it, never paid any attention to it.  Somehow it ended up in a box of my mother’s things after she died and I inherited it.  When I started this project of Jay in the Great War and learned that he had been in Koblenz (then Coblenz), that framed photo came to mind.  I dug it out and realized it had been a souvenir Jay brought back after the war.

High on the east bank of the Rhine River, opposite Koblenz sits Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.  Above is a photo of that souvenir Jay brought home depicting the Fortress and below, a photo of Ehrenbreitstein from where I stood a few weeks ago.

Ehrenbreitstein 2019

Today there are several souvenir stands in the area of the Kaiser monument.  I’ve learned that in 1919 there were many such shops and stands doing a brisk business selling souvenirs to members of the US Army.  Jay would have purchased the framed photo there.  Again I found myself walking in his footsteps, seeing many of the same sights he saw, 100 years later.




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