Today, Wednesday March 14th 2018, is a very special day for me. One year ago today, I created this website, and posted the first entry. Before I get into thanking you all and things along that line I would like to talk about my progression over the past year, and where I stand right now, in terms of the website. This post is going to be extremely long and probably contain a lot of ranting.
Mike passed away on January 23rd, 2000. At the time I was not even born, so I never really got a chance to know Mike. He is my grandfather on my mother’s side, and in turn I was named after him. So in case the website’s name has ever confused you, just know it’s named after him, not me. If you would like more information on this , feel free to check out the “About” section of the website, and a post I made in August of 2017.
Prior to even reading the journal, I never once thought that I would be running a website one day. I’ve always been interested in history, and I still am, but the idea of running a website centered around it never once crossed my mind. Soon after I started reading the first few entries of Mike’s journal, I immediately realized how incredibly rare an intact journal from WWII is. I then started to think that other people might want to see this. At first, I planned to just transcribe it in Microsoft Word, and email it to any family members who wished to read it. After thinking about this idea some more, I realized there is far greater potential to possibly be reached. Which is when I landed on the idea of creating a website. At this time, it was towards the end of January, 2017, so I had been thinking about this for weeks prior to when I actually created it. I had absolutely no idea how to create a website or anything that comes along with it. I didn’t even know what WordPress was at the time.
Besides my absolute clueless-ness on how to do any of this, I was also very nervous about it. I am a fairly shy person in real life, as I do not like to share a lot of personal details with people, especially complete strangers over the internet. I was not necessarily worried what my family or friends might think, but instead what other people online might think. Like for example, what happens if a WWII historian were to come across this website, and pointed out how all the information I’ve been talking about is incorrect, something along those lines. I knew that if I were to go through with this, I would have to do a lot of research, so I don’t present incorrect information to people, which also worried me a little. I had no idea what running a website would consist of, how long it would take to make a post, or how to even post things for that matter. I had no idea the amount of time and effort required to do a project like this. After spending a few weeks researching what domain to purchase a site from, and how to run a blog, I decided to go through with it, one year ago today. I can still remember my anxiety when I made the first post.
All of that being said I am in no way an expert at any of this. I have learned a lot over the course of this past year, thanks to other users on WordPress such as GP Cox, but at the same time, I also have a very long way to go.
Looking back, creating this website was one of the most important thing’s I’ve decided to do in my life so far. It’s very hard to convey what this website means to me through text on a two dimensional screen, so this all probably sounds pretty stupid. This website , in my mind, is a way for me to get to know my Grandfather and carry on his legacy. That one day when I have children can be passed onto them, to their children, and to their children’s children. This website and Mike’s journal have taught me a lot about myself and made me realize what I want in life, which I will be forever grateful for. It was and is a major part of my life.
Thank you to any family and friends who have came to this website, given me advice, feedback, or anything along those lines. It means more to me than you could possibly imagine. Thank you to other WordPress users who have stopped by and left a comment. Thank you to the ones who have given me advice, corrected information I have typed, and lead to me finding their own websites and exploring those. One of which is GP Cox, who has been following me for about 11 months now. He also runs a website of his own, showcasing the Pacific War, which is what Mike fought in. He did not ask me to do this in any way, shape , or form. It’s the least I could do to pay him back. You can check his website out here:
Thank you to anyone who read all of this, as I realize it’s probably not the most interesting to read. This website, journal, and everything that comes along with it has impacted my life in a very large way, which I will be forever grateful for. If heaven is real, and Mike is sitting up there right now, I’m sure he’s incredibly grateful to you too.
From this point on, I plan to continue posting entries like usual, as there is a decent amount left. I have no idea when this project will be finished, it could be one year, two years, etc. Either way, I look forward to the future.