Press Release: Sydney Williams, “Dear Mary: Letters Home from the 10th Mountain Division, 1944-1945”

Media Contact:
Paul Nugent, Executive Director
Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council

Sydney Williams, local author and SECWAC member, presents his new book, “Dear Mary: Letters Home from the 10th Mountain Division, 1944-1945”

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council, in collaboration with Essex Meadows, to host program September 12, 2019, at Essex Meadows

$20 for the General Public; free for SECWAC members, students, educators, and Essex Meadows residents

Essex, CT (August 19, 2019) – The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) announced today that Syndey Williams, local author, is to present his new book ‘Dear Mary: Letters Home from the 10th Mountain Division, 1944-1945’ at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 12 in Hamilton Hallat Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Rd, Essex, CT 06426.

The meeting, part of a new Community Partnership between SECWAC and Essex Meadows, is free for SECWAC members (and their guests) and Essex Meadows residents. For non-members, tickets ($20) may be purchased at the door; ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership.  Membership September 2019 through June 2020 is $85 per person; $25 for young professionals under 35; free for area college and high school students; a corporate rate of $1,000 is also available, with unlimited access for employees.

Local Author Sydney Williams writes of his book,

“Next year we will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War. We are losing World War II veterans at an ever-increasing rate and with them go their memories. It is their letters that remain. My father died fifty-one years ago and my mother twenty-nine years ago. Yet, in reading their letters they come alive. It is as though they were in the room with you. Their hopes, their dreams and their concerns and fears become part of our fabric. As well, we see their love and their humor, despite the desperate circumstances. It is through letters that we are allowed to see and remember the personal side of history. While the letters in this small book are between two people, the message is universal. They speak of a time and a place; they remind us of our history and of the selflessness of this country – the only one that ever sent soldiers overseas, not to conquer or to build or protect an empire, but to free people from tyranny, in this instance from the horrors of Nazism and Fascism. It was a magnanimous act by a people of all races and religions, an act that has never been matched.”


Sydney Williams was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and grew up in New Hampshire. Following mandatory military service, he graduated from the University of New Hampshire and then spent 48 years on Wall Street. In early 2000 he began writing a “Market Note,” which morphed into essays on politics (“Thought of the Day”) and other subjects. He has authored two previous books: “One Man’s Family: Growing Up in Peterborough & Other Stories” and “Notes from Old Lyme: Life on the Marsh & Other Essays.” He is working on a third book of essays, which will be titled, “Essays from Essex,” with a subtitle yet to be determined. Williams has been married to his wife Caroline for 55 years; they have three children and ten grandchildren, and live in Essex, CT.


Founded in 1988, Essex Meadows is a lifecare retirement community committed to helping residents continue to enjoy an active lifestyle and embrace lifelong learning. Through Great Decisions and other ongoing programming such as their popular Arts & Exploration Lecture Series, Essex Meadows provides residents, and often the broader community, opportunities to engage in probing, thought-provoking discussions about issues of local and global importance. Learn more at


SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policy makers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at


CALENDAR LISTING: Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) and Essex Meadows Community Partnership present ‘Dear Mary:  Letters Home from the 10th Mountain Division, 1944-1945 with local author Sydney Williams on Thursday, September 12, 2019, 3:00 p.m. at Hamilton Hall, Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Rd, Essex, CT 06426. Free for members of SECWAC and Essex Meadows residents. Annual membership of SECWAC  is $85; $25 for young professionals under 35, and free for area students; a new Corporate membership is available for $1,000, with unlimited attendance for employees at SECWAC meetings.


Mission Statement

The mission of the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) is to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs by study, debate, and educational programming, primarily through a Speakers Series of 8 to 10 monthly meetings.