07 December 2010

Remember Pearl

A friend had a book proposal returned
 with the explanation that, 

"People today, would not be able to relate to her stories of growing up in the 1940's". 

This did not make any sense to me. 

If that is true, then what does that say about those who have followed what has been dubbed 
"The Greatest Generation"? 

When I mentioned that today was 

"Pearl Harbor Day",

my daughter said, 

I realized then, that I needed to make sure the youngest of my children understands
 what that means.

This "Greatest Generation
are passing on and those of us
 from the tail-end of the Baby Boomers 
must be sure to tell our children
 so that our history
 is not forgotten.

Today, I sit here in my midwestern town 
in relative peace and safety 
surrounded by a blanket of snow. 

On December 7, 1941,
 it was a balmy Sunday morning in Hawaii 
and no one suspected 
that the day would end with over 
2,400 American lives lost. 

Those who died in that harbor were living lives of service to their country. 
A shock of that magnitude 
would not be felt again until the morning of September 11, 2001.

The attack on US soil generated a patriotic fervor to stop such a ruthless enemy. 
It sent our grandparents to Europe 
to fight the 

 and to the Pacific
 to fight the Japanese army.

 Never before was there such a
 dramatic change to our culture.   

Children stayed with their grandparents 
while their mothers went to work.
Husbands and fathers went away and 
those who came back rarely 
talked about their experiences.

Today, hearts swell 
when events like D-Day are mentioned and 
heads shake when they remember how 
the H-Bomb ended the war
 with Japan.

Such times I cannot imagine.

My grandmother, now 88 years old, 
worked in a factory making bomber planes. 

My mom still has her ration book. 

I have my grandfather's draft card. 

 My husband's grandfather, 
now 92,
 was a submariner.   

I have an American Guide Book that the submariner's mother owned, 
that teaches everything from 
etiquette of the flag 
to how to stretch meals and
 plant victory gardens.

We must remember 
that our freedom was not given to us 
without responsibility. 

It was bought with 
the blood of brave men and women 
who understood duty and sacrifice. 

We must not forget them
 nor the events that shaped their lives.

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