Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Handle World War II Souvenirs with Care

Souvenirs from World War II and the wars that have followed it are aging and may be dangerous. Hand grenades, bullets, mortars, mines, and guns came home with the soldiers and were often stored in attics after a few years. Last month a Columbus, Ohio, woman found a hand grenade among her father's belongings stored in a shoebox in the garage. She put it in her car and after driving around running errands for a few days, she stopped at a fire station to dispose of it. Imagine her surprise when the firefighters quickly evacuated the parking lot.

In other incidents during the past year, some World War II grenades were taken to an auction house to be sold--the bomb squad was called and shooed everyone out of the building; and a landmine was found in a trash bin and everyone nearby had to be moved out of the way.
Explosives deteriorate, become unstable, and can explode unexpectedly. Although the Army sends out posters to veterans to remind them about the danger, children and veterans have died in the past year from handling war souvenirs.

Don't throw any type of explosive in the trash. It could harm city workers. We found a box of rifle bullets in our very hot attic a few years ago. Our son had stored the box with his hunting rifle years before when he moved out of town. We took the bullets to the nearby firehouse but kept the empty box as a collectible.


motocal said...

Oh yes, my husband's family had many grenades, shells, etc. from older family members stored away here and there. One day, Grandad was showing some to the little ones and to his surprise one of the smoke bombs (?) decide to go off and burned a hole in their kitchen table! Everyone decided that it was time to rid the house of these relics! But, oh no, they would dispose of them like normal people! I think they took them to store in an outbuilding. They never get rid of anything!

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I am the wife of a retired EOD (Explosive Ordanace Disposal) SFC US Army soldier. this is something I am very familiar with and have been for more than 25 years. Before anyone knew what an IED or roadside bomb was I sure did.
these old artifacts are extremely dangerous and #1. Do Not Move the Item!!!!!! EVER!!!! Please call the local police immediately and they now have better contacts to take care of this stuff. How they take care of it you may not like but it will be for YOUR safety!!!!! there have been times I woundered if I would have a husband come home but if someone is in this field of work they know there stuff and don't argue with them. It is better to loose something that is a object than your Life or limb or someone else that might just be standing around and your loved one! I can not stress how hard this is to get across to people, I have too many stories and yes some are humerous but some are not! We have lost friends due to the stupidity of curiosity and it is not like it is in the movies, they don't come back! I hope that you will take my heed and warning, please just call the police.

Anonymous said...

Not only are some of the "souvenirs" dangerous, some weapons brought back from the battlefield are illegal these days.

And, ignorance of the law is not a guaranteed defense when you find those souvenirs that so many of the soliders brought home.

Roger said...

I am 63 Years old,a Ret.Vet.of over 22 Years.
I think these days sometimes this generation is TOO causious and have Too many senseless rules and laws. Come on America get a backbone!