One year later…

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:

https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/

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.


Thank you,

〜 Michael

Update

Hello everyone, it is me the owner / creator of this website. This post is going to be a little recap of what we have accomplished in 2017 in terms of the website, along with me thanking you guys. So if you’re not interested in this, I would suggest to stop reading now, but if you should decide to stay, I appreciate it.

So first and foremost, I would like to thank anyone who has ever viewed this website, whether it be on a regular basis or a once and done type of deal. Today we officially hit 2,000 total website views.

ViewCountJan2618

Just five months and two days ago we exceeded 1,000 total views, which I posted about here. I honestly can not express my gratitude and thankfulness enough. It means more to me than you could possibility imagine, that I am able to carry on my Grandfather’s legacy like this. So again thank you to the regular viewers of the website like GP Cox , a gray, and my family members. You all have helped me a lot with the website, whether it be correcting something I wrote, or figuring out what a word is, or just giving me overall feedback. Just know it is much appreciated. From here on out I hope we can continue to exceed these numbers. It still just baffles me that over 2,000 individuals have taken time out of their life, to come to this website and read what my Grandfather wrote. It is a very heart warming feeling, and I’m sure if Mike was still here he would feel the same way.

So now I would like to do a quick recap of 2017 and what actually occurred on this website, in terms of the numbers and statistics. None of this is intended as me bragging or being “cocky”.  Instead I am doing this to be transparent and to show how far we have come.

StatsFor2017

The above image is the stats of the website for the year 2017. Since starting this website in March of 2017 the above numbers show how far we have come. It is thanks to you all, who decide to come here and read all of this. While this means a lot to me, the following images mean even more.

The two above images are the list that shows what countries people have viewed this website from. In total there are 38 of them. The reason this means so much to me, is because one of my main intentions for creating this website was to share my Grandfather’s journal with anyone on the world who is interested. It is still unbelievable to me that people all the way from Finland or China (for example) have came to this website to read Mike’s journal entries. This just shows how powerful of a tool the internet is and I can not explain how happy this makes me feel. If Mike was still around he would be baffled, that people on the opposite side of the world are even interested in this.

So again, thank you.


~ Michael

Update

Hello internet,  it is me the owner / creator of this website. This is going to be a similar post to my last one , talking about what’s been going on with me and my future plans for this website. If you’re not interested in that , I would stop reading if you haven’t already.

I would first off like to apologize that I have not posted for over a month now. I do notice the comments and the amount of people that view the website each day and I feel guilty for not posting and letting people down. I know I keep apologizing for taking these breaks but I am not sure what else to say. It would feel weird to me to come back all the sudden without updating the people who care.

I would also like to give a huge thank you to anyone who has continued to come to this website during time periods where I am not posting. Especially those of you have been here since around the beggining. Any support I receive means more to me than you could imagine. Now I’m not religious myself but if Heaven does exist and if Mike is up there , I’m sure he’s incredibly grateful too.

Now that the regular “speech” I give everytime I take a break is out of the way, I would like to explain where I have been and the future plans for this website. I have been extremely busy with my education and work , especially with finals. I have also had some personal things to deal with which I will not be getting into. To tell you the truth I just haven’t felt motivated at all to post on here even when I did have time, which I realize is a bad “excuse” and for that I apologize. As for the post I made a few months ago taking about the video and additional pictures I plan to post , I still intend to do so. I just haven’t seen my Grandmother at all since posting that, once I do I will get working on it though.

If anyone actually read this wall of text , I appreciate you even more. Again thank you to anyone who has given me support and now that I have more time I will start again tonight posting regularly, I have no idea how long that will last though. Happy Holidays!
-Michael

Update

Hello everyone, it is me, the owner / creator of this website. This post is going to be another update one, and will not contain a journal entry. So if you’re not interested in the behind the scenes type stuff I’d suggest to stop reading now. But feel free to stay if you would like.

I just want to give a quick thank you to everyone. Yesterday was officially the 50th journal entry that has been posted to this website. That may not mean much to you, but to me it does. This is a very large milestone for me, and it’s because of all the people who have supported the website thus far. It has motivated me to keep posting. So thank you to anyone who has seen my posts and comments about the website on Reddit. To the people that have gave me feedback about the website, thank you! It means more than you could imagine. Thank you to my family and friends for supporting this. Thank you to some of the other users on this platform that have given support. Like GP Cox , you have given me very positive feedback, helped me out a ton, and have corrected information a few times for me, so thank you! Again the support means a lot to me, that somewhere, someone out there besides myself actually cares about this.


Thanks for everything 😀

  • Michael

Update

Hello everyone, again, it is me the owner and creator of this website. This post is going to be similar to the other update posts I’ve done. So if you’re not interested in me and additional stuff about the website then I guess stop reading if you haven’t already, or feel free to stay, your choice. Just warning you now it is a very long post.

Alright so I have a very special announcement to make, at least to me it’s special. So if you remember a few weeks ago, at the bottom of a journal entry I mentioned there would be a big announcement and surprise coming soon. Well that’s what this is about, and I will try and explain as best I can what they will be about.

So on this website I have the blog posts of each journal entry going in sequential order along with a picture of each entry in the journal. I also have some update posts and other random ones that are just text. Along the left hand side of the website interface there is a section called “About” which is where I basically give a simplified version of my grandfather’s backstory and other details you will not find in the Journal. Beneath that is a section called “Photos” with two subsections called “Journal Entries” and “Other”. In the “Journal Entries” section you will find the picture of each journal entry I have posted in sequential order starting with the first one, so if you are not interested in reading my comments and the transcription for each one and would like to just read it how it’s written then you can do that there. I update it each time I post a new entry. In the “Other” section you will find random images like my Grandfather’s Uniform, his Purple Heart and some other stuff, you will not find the Journal Entry pictures there. So encase you never noticed those or were curious where they took you, now you know.

Alright so now to the announcement, after looking through my website I realized I really don’t have a whole lot of pictures and that most people would prefer to look at pictures rather than text. I realized I basically have no pictures of him actually in the war or stuff along those lines, pictures of what he actually did. Luckily my Grandmother has a whole album of pictures Mike took throughout his time serving in the war, they range from the native people he met to pictures of what he did and the lands he traveled to. I have not looked through it for a very long time myself so when I go to visit my Grandmother I will do so. I will also take individual pictures of each individual print out. I will create a new page on the website and upload them there, along with a video slideshow. So if you don’t feel like scrolling through pictures yourself you can just sit back and watch the video version. I am very excited to do this, I really hope you guys like it and it works out the way I have envisioned in my mind. Although this might not happen for another one to three months, so sorry in advance for that.

There is another thing I would like to announce. Sometime in the 90’s a family member of mine asked Mike to sit down with him. He setup a camera on Mike and proceeded to interview him about what he did in WWII and his thoughts on it while simultaneously looking at the pictures. I personally have never seen it, but luckily I have a copy on hand. The only problem is it’s a VHS tape, and I do not have a VHS player. They are very expensive to buy, so what I plan to do is convert it into a CD and download it like that. Once I do that I will edit it, cutting out the audio of parts where he mentions any last names and addresses and pix-elate his mouth, just to keep people’s information private. Other than that it will remain as it was originally. This means so much to me as I have no idea what the contents are and I never got to meet him, so it will be very interesting to me to see this. Once this is all finished I will be uploading it to YouTube and then to this website so you all can watch it if you would like. This combined with the pictures should give you a much better idea of what type of person Mike was and will hopefully increase the quality of this website.

I will update you all once I get further into doing this, just know it make take a little while because I want to make sure it’s as good as can be. I am very excited to further this project I started.

Thank you to everyone who has read this far and has shown any support to this website.


〜  Michael

Update

Hello everyone it is me, the owner / creator of this website. Before I get into everything I would like to warn you that this is going to be a very long post. So before I explain what’s been going on with me and this website I would like to talk about why I started it in the first place.

So let me start by explaining how I even started it in the first place. A week prior to starting it I visited my grandmother at her house. Her husband was Mike, the person this website is about. While at her house she pulled out my grandfather’s uniform, Purple Heart and journal from WWII along with some photographs. I always knew she had all of this and the journal but like most of my other family members I never bothered to get around to reading it. So right before I left I asked her if I could take it home and read it. As my grandfather passed away before I was born so I never really knew too much about him and his service during WWII, I figured this would be very interesting. The more I read of it the more I realized how incredible this is. That in my hands is an intact, legible journal from the Second World War, making it about seventy – four years old. On top of that I realized how descriptive it actually is. Once I realized this I talked with some other family members and friends of mine about it and came to the conclusion that this is something other people should get a chance to see. That’s when I came up with the idea to create a website, as I figured out that would be the only realistic way of sharing this sort of thing with the world.  So I went online, purchased a website and spent a whole day creating it. Then I made my first post on March 14th, 2017 , a little over five months ago. Since then the website has grown a lot more than I expected, when I created it I had no idea I would actually post on it more than once and I didn’t even know if it was something I would like doing. But I realized after the first few entries what this really means to me and that I didn’t mind doing it. Since then 961 people have viewed the website. Now that is just a number, I don’t care about how big it is, that is not the reason I did this. So thank you to anyone who has taken time to visit this website and to anyone who has shared it with others. Thank you to my family members who have supported and helped me with it, and thank you grandma for allowing me to borrow the journal in the first place. Going back to earlier, where I said I realized what this website means to me. On a deeper more personal level, to me this is carrying on my grandfather’s legacy, which is hard for me to explain what that actually means to me by typing on keyboard, but just know it means a lot to me. On a greater level, the main reason I wanted to share this with other family members and the world is for the educational aspect. There is not a lot of legible, intact journals from WWII around, so since something like this is so rare I feel like it is something that should be shared to anyone who is interested or could benefit from it. Another reason is encase this journal would be lost one day, my family and I would basically have a backup version of it. So again thank you to everyone who has supported this so far!

Alright now I would like to explain where I have been and why I have not posted on the website in about three months. But before that I would like to apologize, that I have not posted on it for so long, if I have disappointed or let anyone down. The reason being is because the summer season is the busiest time for the place I work at, and I am also joining the military so I just really have not had a lot of free time. When I do I just never felt like posting on the website to be completely honest. So again I am very sorry for this.

This is the final part don’t worry. I would like to say that I am back and I will really try and post on it frequently, like I used to when I first started it. I do not want to let this die out, I am going to try and commit to finishing what I started. That being said, you will hopefully see a new journal post in the next few days and many more from there on out. Maybe some more pictures and other stuff. Again thank you for any support you have given and to anyone who actually read this far.


〜  Michael