My War Diary - Infantry Days June 2, 1917 to March 19, 1918: Five Thousand Miles of the Western Front

I found LeRoy's WWI diary! But more about that later... For now here is the first entry:

IX

Ante-Bellum Preface

I am beginning a diary of my service in the army. It may be very short; or it may cover many pages. But, from the situation at present, it looks as if it might be a long one. A few months ago we did not dream for a moment that the European conflagration might sweep our shores. But now, we are a part of it; and if the developing program of war is carried out, our men will be swarming the shores of France, carrying Democracy across the Atlantic.

And it is my privilege to be a part in this war of righteousness! A small part, to be sure, but a part. And no matter, if it shall be accorded me no greater service that that which can be rendered as a private or musician in the band. If I do that as well as I can. I will be entitled to be proud that I was a part of the Great War.

I have enlisted with a group of my friends in an organization which, I believe, offers me the opportunities for the best service, but what will it lead to is useless to guess, for there are no more uncertain quantities than the fortunes of war.

But the diary! Will it be worth while? And why am I starting it? To the first question, I can only hope for an answer. I will be one of millions, and my story will very likely contain no harrowing tales of danger nor deeds of bravery. Indeed, it will likely contain no different story than a hundred thousand other diaries being started at this moment. But if no more, it will serve its purpose in the answer to my second question. I am starting it, primarily that I may send it home in loose leaf form to my parents, and those to whom they may choose to read it.

I will endeavor to be fair and tell things as they really happen, in order that the whole may be a true account of my experiences - interesting or commonplace, as the case may be. If it is interesting, perhaps it will be worth preserving, if commonplace its immediate purpose justifies it.

So here goes, my diary!

June 3, 1917                                                                                                                     C.L.M.

TO MY PARENTS

For whom

Each day of my Service bespeaks

a greater Sacrifice

than I could have been called upon to make,

THIS DIARY IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED