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FedEx Blog

Keepsakes From Another Continent

January 4, 2012

When my wife and I moved to Belgium and our adult children came to visit us, I’m almost certain they were expecting their first pit stop in Brussels to include great chocolate, perhaps some famous Belgian mussels or a lovely stroll across the architecturally eclectic central square, the “Grand Place”.

While indeed my children did eventually enjoy these tourist perks, their trip to Belgium initially took an unusual detour—our first stop was at the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium. And it was intentional.

My grandfather Felix Guilday served in the First World War, and was followed by my father who served in World War II.  Like millions of Americans, they left their families, travelled across continents and bore arms in service to their country. The visit to the Ardennes American Cemetery in Belgium underscored the heroic tales of sacrifice undertaken by all our Veterans whose bravery has touched our own family history’s but in a larger sense as well, our very way of life as free citizens.

When I recently found out that a US Veteran’s once lost keepsake box from WWII had been surprisingly recovered here in Belgium and transported by FedEx Express back to the United States, I was moved and proud of our company’s capacity to help to bring those precious memories back to life.

Sixty-seven years ago, Army Private First Class John Alfred D’Amore served in US armed forces in Belgium during WWII.  During that time, he was in love with a woman, Rose Archie, who later became his wife. Fitting with his lastname D’Amore literally meaning “of love”, the young soldier carefully and secretly carried a keepsake box of photos and love letters from his fiancée Rose.  As the ravages of war ensued, the keepsake box was lost but the soldier safely returned home to marry his sweetheart and build a family.

ww2 lettersIt was only this past June that the small wooden box was rediscovered by a woman cleaning an attic in the Ardennes region of Belgium and the adventure of finding its rightful owner began.  

When FedEx Express stepped in to ensure the keepsake box arrived safely in the hands of John Alfred D’Amore, the surprise package was delivered in its rightful style– hand delivered by FedEx couriers who are also US Veterans.

I can only imagine the nostalgia this small box brought the D’Amore couple and the happiness it gave to their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, who had heard about the keepsakes in the past but could now appreciate the lost photos and letters for themselves.

I have endless admiration for the courage, sacrifice and stoicism of our Veterans. I am also incredibly proud and grateful for the fine work our team members demonstrated in helping this retired couple relive some tender moments from their past.

Thank You Team FedEx from Belgium to the US for your outstanding service to this deserving couple.  And to our Veterans, a heartfelt thank you once again.

Should you wish to read the full story of the D’Amore keepsake box, I invite you to visit USO on Patrol magazine (pages 10-11):



    Camille Robinson says:

    Oh, how enjoyed I enjoyed this story. It contains all of the elements of a great fiction story, made all the better by the fact it’s a true-life story. Love, war, family and Fedex doing it’s part to bring the keepsake box back to it’s rightful owners. Thanks for sharing this beautiful tale.

    Catherine Devine says:

    This is one of the best stories I have ever heard of. I hope that many others will read this story and be moved as I was. My two sons serve in the army and I am blessed knowing that if they die, they die for freedom. Love our veterans.


    Catherine Devine says:

    This is one of the best stories I have ever heard of. I hope that many others will read this story and be moved as I was. My two sons serve in the army and I am blessed knowing that if they die, they die for freedom. Love our veterans. Please don’t forget their sacrifice.


    Eric Keane says:

    What a great story.

    We all have a shared history in many ways.

    Jimmy Tucker says:

    Great story. I was born 3 years after the end of WWII. Growing up I was infatuated with the soldier, sailors and airmen or that generation. As a young person, it was my favorite entertainment. As an older person, maturing and realizing the peril, destruction and misery of war, I now marvel how they fought and heroically risked their lives to save the world from evil tyranny. I too, am proud that FedEx played a role in returning these found mementos to one of our country’s heroes. If you read enough of WWII, in most cases, on the ground, in the air, and up and below the sea, these guys had to know that death could be in the next instant. These guys are fading fast, we must never forget there valor.

    Craig Adolph says:

    What a great opportunity for Fed Ex and the pride this company can take in the mission to share with the greatest generation.

    Before coming to Fed Ex I had the humble experience of moving the largest WWII museum in Belgium to the United States. It was located near Luxembourg and was assembled by Belgians and WWII veterans.

    After it arrived and was set in it’s final museum location the personal stories that were able to be recorded by video and audio of the Battle of the Bulge were heart warming, family closures and far more than one peson could have ever imagined.

    To say the least the country of Belgium and the fine people of southern Belgium did a great service to our history and our families sacrifice in saving and sharing our history.

    My own family discovered an uncle who was still alive that had never told his own story to his family. Low and behold he had several bronze stars and transported General Patton in some instances during the Battle of the Bulge.

    Fed Ex Express stand tall and proud! Your service to this fine gentleman from our greatest generation I am sure has spread far and wide. Though they did not have modern communications during their service to our country they knew how to communicate.

    I am proud to be a part of the Fed Ex family.

    Gulsu Law says:

    Great story. Yet one more example of how FedEx changes lives.

    Vera says:

    Powerful and positive news! Thank you for sharing with us.

    subir banerjee says:

    Absolutely great story.Thanks for sharing.

    Carlo Novi says:

    What a touchy story…thanks for sharing Jerry.
    This’s another of the thousands of reasons why I’m so proud to be a member of this Company.

    Bill Stanek says:

    What a wonderful, heartwarming story!

    Patrick Galvin says:

    Jerry, Thanks for sharing this story. We owe so much to the men and women that have served and are serving our country. Our very freedoms are because of the sacrifices they have made. Glad to see our FedEx Family could give back in such a way.

    Le Anne Symonds says:

    Wonderful story! Thank you for highlighting this to honor our veterans who have done so much for all of us and our country.

    Chris Marsh says:

    Awesome that our company could be a part of restoring these treasures to the family. My father served in World War II and just about everything he had from that era was lost in a fire.

    David Harvey says:

    What a great story makes me proud to be apart of the FedEx family.

    Jerri Gentry says:

    This is a very moving story. Most of us have family members and friends who’ve served in the armed forces in some capacity and this story reminds of the sacrifices they made. The tears came for me when I got to the part where the box was delivered by FedEx veterans! I love this company for so many reasons and the stories of how we make such positive impact on “stranger’s” lives overwhelms me. The Purple Promise is alive and well !

    Chuck Henry says:

    I have my box of memories from Vietnam. I know that FedEx made something special happen for the D’Amores. I am proud to say I work for FedEx

    Josephine Todd says:

    What a lovely, heartwarming story. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Alex Diges says:

    Impressive, we have to learn a lot of people sacrifice in that hard times of both wars of world. I´m an european and I try to imagine how strong I would be to left behind now parents, country,…
    There´s no doubt about D´amore family tears of emotion watching again these old photos of that distant adventure. Congratulations

    Jeanette Cummins says:

    Beautiful, touching story.

    Deborah Simon says:

    Just a wonderful love story and thanks for sharing!

    Letitia says:

    Ya learn something new eeyvrady. It’s true I guess!

    Ted Harlson says:

    I agree with, “I have endless admiration for the courage, sacrifice and stoicism of our Veterans.” The only difference I find here you might call symantic, but it is not. It was not a, “sacrifice” that the vets were dying. They were fighting and dying for a value they’d rather not live without – and won that great value of freedom. If they had fought for a lesser value, then it would have been a true sacrifice. I’m being technical but it was also such clarity they too had to have in order to know what they were fighting for. I have not forgotten and will not forget.

    MayLyn says:

    It is always so wonderful to read sucess stories like this one, and to know that FedEx is making a differance in the world! This was an amazing read! Thank you for posting this! I will never forget what FedEx did to deliver those photos to that famliy! That is so nice of them!

    Catherine Boyle says:

    My husband Tom ,was US Air Force and our family were stationed at Hahn Air Base Germany, 1980=1984. We were not far from Belgium, so we did visit there often. I remember the first time I visited and I was shown a memorial to our Americans that lost their lives durring WW 2. A Belgium man said to me”Every ( Belgium) person here will always treat you and every American with the greatest honor and respect,because your people have fought and died here for our freedom.” I wish I could remember all of it but I know I was so touched by his statement and felt love and pride for our people who gave their lives, but also for all the military who served . My dad had served in WW2 in the Navy, and we had been blest that he did return home from the war. My husband had served in Viet Nam and survived to serve 22 years before he retired. I loved this story.


    Doyal Finley says:

    great story Mr Leary Tell Family I said Hi

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