Norristown, Pennsylvania resident Deveta Johnson was getting ready to take out the trash just before Christmas arrived. Not wanting to carry old dirt into the new year, she saw something in the trash that looked like an old pile of grocery bags. As she investigated closer, she discovered an old photo album littered with hundreds of World War II-era snapshots of African-Americans in wartime Europe living their daily lives.

"This shouldn't be in the trash," mused Johnson, who had listened to her grandfather's countless war stories as a child. She took the album home, showed her mother, Valoree Nelson, and together they've preserved the photos for posterity.

What might have been forever lost to a landfill has now been turned over to the Historical Society of Montgomery County to be treasured. Experts are calling this album a "rare find," as the photos have withstood the damage time can bring. What's missing are names and dates to tie the images together. Some have been found, but the majority of them are without any pertinent information. How important is it for us to preserve and honor these memories?

Read it at The Philadelphia Inquirer.