John R. McNeill made a good point about collecting soldiers’ memories in his March 18 op-ed, “Save the war stories before it’s too late.” But his lesson should be broadened. Every grandparent should heed the late Harold L. Ickes’s advice, “I have often wished that my father, and his father . . . had left some written record, however brief, of their lives and times. To most of us . . . our ancestors are only names . . . . (E)xcept for an occasional isolated and unconnected fact or legend they are to us total strangers.”

Even if you didn’t fight a war, take the time now to prepare a “written record, however brief.” It’s fun to do. And someday your grandchildren, or their children, will be glad you did.

Bob Allnutt, Bethesda