Trench Art

You know that July 4th is my second favorite holiday, second only to Thanksgiving.  The whole family comes to Lexington, and we participate in most of the activities.  Lexington puts on a fabulous July 4th celebration starting with an old-fashioned pie baking contest, which I entered once and lost.  Then there’s an outdoor patriotic concert attended by thousands.  We are all right there with them dressed in our red, white, and blue and eating our picnic dinner.  We participate in the 10k race, have a big ole cookout, go to the pool, and stay up for the fireworks.  We have a wonderful time.  This year will be even more special because we will get to meet little Google in person for the first time.  (We have been Skyping until now.)  Without going too overboard, I like to decorate the house in touches of red, white, and blue.  I was in the basement going through my accessories closet and found the trench art bullet casing that my grandfather brought home from World War I.  I decided it would be a perfect vessel for holding a handful of flags.

Trench Art

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You might be wondering what is trench art.  It is art created by soldiers when they are at war.  They use any available materials and use them to create art to combat boredom while they are waiting for something to happen.  Here’s the Wikipedia definition:  “Trench art is any decorative item made by soldiers, prisoners of war, or civilians where the manufacture is directly linked to armed conflict or its consequences. It offers an insight not only to their feelings and emotions about the war, but also their surroundings and the materials they had available to them.”


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This bullet casing is copper and has the date of 1918.


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There are acorns and leaves on it along with the name Verdun, which is a French town.  It means so very much to me since my grandfather, as a single young man, brought this home as his souvenir from the war.  Now get this……inside was a tattered map of France actually in two large pieces and a few little scraps.  Today I am taking that map the our framer to see if they can put it together enough to frame.

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Since the main color is our home is navy, just a few red additions can make it feel very patriotic.  I love that simple decorating.

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The trench art and flags are right at home in front of our framed vintage map of the United States that is written in French.  It’s another great patriotic touch.

Do you do any special decorating for the 4th?

Take care.


  1. A. Garcia says

    That is just about the coolest thing you’ve ever posted! You must be so proud of your grandfather and so blessed to have it still in the family intact after all those years.

  2. Beth says

    I love your bullet case, what a special memento from your family history. I am thinking of entering the pie contest. I developed a terrific blueberry rhubarb tart last summer. I think it is a winner.

  3. Carolyn Rasnick says

    What a great family heirloom! You must be over the moon excited for this upcoming week and time with all of your grand darlings!! Enjoy every minute!!

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