a blog by levi krusza

The Heart-Shield Bible: A WWII Artifact

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2009 at 4:58 am

The inside front cover reads: “The Heart-Shield Bible – Fit’s Snugly in Uniform

God's Weapon

God's Weapon

Pocket – The Engraved Gold-Plated Steel Front Cover Protects His Heart”. Definitely my favorite heirloom of my great-grandfather’s. The gold-leaf, steel cover, now fading from years of evident use, has the words “God’s Weapon” stamped into it.

 

My great-grandpa, Virgil Manuel, served in the infantry, in active duty during World War II. This New Testament was his constant companion during his tour in Germany, and for years to come. I get goosebumps when thinking of all the places this little book has been. It was with him when he left his girl-friend Anna at home. It was in his pocket when he traveled across the Atlantic Ocean. It was there when he lost friends, and comrade’s that once ate, slept, talked, shared, and fought by his side.

The vocal point of this New Testament is the front cover, which is supposed

A Message From the President

A Message From the President

to shield the soldiers heart in battle. The other thing i found interesting in here is a short message from Franklin Roosevelt to his soldiers. It states this following message:

As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel, and inspiration. It is a foundation of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest aspirations of the human soul.  Signed: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Another valuable heirloom I found in the Bible was a picture of my great-grandpa, and future. It’s easy to imagine him being in the heat of battle, or resting in a fox-hole, on a starry night, and pulling out a picture of “his girl”, Anna.

Virgil & Anna

Virgil & Anna

I’m not really an antique collector, or history/WWII buff, but this is a truly invaluable little piece of history, that anyone can appreciate it. The most important thing to me is that my Grandpa wanted me, specifically, to have this important possession of his, when he died last Christmas at the age of 92. Imagine being that old. He’s seen the first plane, the first moon-landing, the first computer. There’s a lot of knowledge to be learned from history, and those who made it. Learn as much as you can from them, don’t take them for granted, and spend time with them while you still can.

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  1. I finally found it… thanks for writting this little bit of history….. I have the new testament that MY father, his brother, Lester Leon Manuel, carried in the Navy…. and he sent it to “Florence Gae Manuel (now Mooney) Altamont, Ill. From: Lester Leon Manuel, Your Dad; To use at Sunday School and home. To learn the best out of life. 6/14/42 …… just thought you would like to know…. by the way, I now live in Hale Center, Texas….

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