Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pearl Harbor Day

I was four years old. I don't remember the day, but I remember the conversations years and years after... especially on the anniversary. My father was of Greek descent, but he was more American than any of us. He believed in the land of the free... he was a patriot from the moment he stepped on American soil and remained that way until the day of his death in 1963, 8 months before President Kennedy was killed. He would have been devastated had he still been here at that terrible time. I tell you this because it was my father who gave us stability as a family during and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor... and I'm including my aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and anyone else who wanted to be part of our family, and there were many friends who thought they were.

I remember the two stars mom kept in the window when my brothers entered the Navy. Both were stationed on ships and served their country. One of my brothers was knocked out of his bunk of the ship when it was hit by Japanese fire.

I can still see the pictures of the bombings of Pearl Harbor which were in the news at the movies. And there you have it... while my brothers were fighting in Okinawa, my father still tried to make it a normal life for his two little girls who remained at home. He let us know how important it was that my brothers were "over there", but he didn't want the war to be all consuming for us.

We would be in bed and could hear mom and dad talking and you could hear the concern in their voices, though they would never show their worry when my sister and I were around.

My brothers came home safe. Praise God. Pearl Harbor is but a distant memory for some...but it shaped the lives of so many of us at that time, and even today, I can hear my father saying... "It's alright... everything is going to be alright!"

And it is!


Laurie said...

Wonderful post, meb. I don't know too many people who remember Pearl Harbor and will talk about it.

My dad joined the Marines as soon as he was old enough, and fought in the war. He never spoke of it and we knew not to ask.

My mom only talks of it in vague terms. I know she and my grandparents and my aunt were all touched by the events of this day. Well we all were, weren't we?

My flag is flying and my heart is with the few remaining survivors of Pearl Harbor. Many live right here in San Diego and we make a big deal out of them each year. We don't forget!

sizzie said...

Thank you meb, for writing this. The personal repercussions of that day were like that of a pebble thrown in a calm lake, and they are still pushing us along. Your father sounds like a wonderful man and a great father. That is about as good a combination as a girl can get, isn't it!

bindu said...

Interesting post. You know, you should write down your memories like this for your family if you haven't already done so. My father has written "his biography", just for family reading, and though I know him so well, as I read it I realize that he's bringing to life for me a world that no longer exists, especially since India is changing so fast. These are precious memories.

meb said...

I've thought about doing my bio many times, but never quite got it started. I write children's stories (not published), so when I am writing, it's usually that.

I started when my grandchildren were young... they're all in their 20's now... but I still like to write something on occasion, and I make them sit and listen to me read my story when it's finished. They swear they love it, but I think they fib a little (or a lot). Why do I read it to them rather than let them read it themselves... I'll bet you can guess. LOL

bindu said...

I'm sure your stories are really good - going by what I read here. I think when your grandchildren reach their 30s they will be more curious about their past and be able to connect with your life more. I was very, very close to my grandma, but lost her when I was only around 16. We never spoke about anything in all the hours that we spent together. I was too young. Now how I wish I could ask her things or know things about her life ... I wish she had written them down!! :)