Beach combers always are searching for the unusual, but a crew cleaning up oil at Gulf Islands National Seashore found something incredible: a message in a bottle honoring a British soldier killed in Afghanistan.
The bottle, which started out from Wales, was found in mid-July at Horn Island. Inside it were five letters written in memory of James Adams, who was killed September 27, 2009. The letters were dated May 1 and were from his mother, Sarah; sister, Emma; brother, Josh; and friends Maureen and Tom.
Sarah also wrote another letter to “whoever finds this bottle” urging them “to try to make a difference, and stop anymore pain.”
The message made a deep impression on the seashore's cleanup crew. They all signed their names to a T-shirt and took a group photo to send to Sarah in Wales.
Two resource advisors for the seashore, Kelly Moore and Patricia Kraft, were on Horn Island with the cleanup crew when the bottle was found. Ms. Moore wrote a letter to the family expressing the responders’ sympathy for James’s loss and gratitude for his service.
“As Sarah encourages in her letter, we all have the right and the responsibility to help make this world a better place. We have the opportunity to make a difference, however slight it may be," wrote Ms. Moore. "There are many men and women who are doing their part to clean up this disaster that has blanketed the Gulf in oil. These men and women are making a difference -- one tar ball at a time. It is a slow process, but an honorable one.
"Finding that bottle is something we will never forget. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all and for reminding us that everyone has the power to make a positive impact in some way.”