Newspaper headline from "Victory in Europe Day"- May 8, 1945

Newspaper headline from "Victory over Japan Day"- September 2, 1945


          This project has affected me personally from the beginning. I started the project believing I was researching a random man with no real significance beyond fighting in a war, however I have gained an appreciation for the sacrifice that some 280,000 Americans gave in order to regain world peace. I have gained an acute sense of sonder for each soldier that died throughout the war: realizing they each had a life before they became a number and a statistic. They deserve recognition for their sacrifices in the name of freedom. The gratitude I feel for John Hinchman Stokes Jr. alone is vast; I truly believe he was a great man who's calling was to save others even if that means risking himself. I want to have a conversation with him: ask why he did it? how he did it? was he scared? would he have sacrificed himself for another soldier again, given the chance? These questions and all others will go unanswered though, and that is ok because I'm confident I can imagine his answers. I have come to know Stokes, I believe personally, through resources like ancestry and fold3, my most important source, and I am better as a person because of it.