To honor Memorial Day, our local PBS station is rerunning the series, The War. I began watching it around 11:00 AM and it runs until 8:00 tonight. I have watched it before, but I always see something new each time. At present I have the TV turned up so I can hear it from my computer where Bing Crosby is singing ‘White Christmas.’
Born six months after Pearl Harbor, I have been obsessed with WWII all my life, but have only vague memories of it. My own Dad was turned down for service during WWII because he was classed 4-F, which ended his dream. He had always planned to attend West Point. Aunt Marge told me that Dad was destined for an appointment via his uncle who was a WWI hero, but Dad never saw a uniform, much less combat. However, I like to think that as a government worker he was doing his part to serve his country.
My Mom’s three brothers, and my Dad’s brothers-in-law all served in Europe.
My first husband’s father Herman Johnston was at Iwo Jima and other places in the Pacific during the war. Because she had 8 sons serving in WWII, Herman’s mom Mrs Thomas Johnston was invited to Charleston to christen the USS Papago in 1945.
Last year when Herman died at age 95, my son inherited his grandfather’s uniform, which had hung with its three battle stars in his closet for over 50 years.
Earlier, as David left for his noontime meeting, (Pearl Harbor was being bombed) he came over to the chair where I was weeping into my cup of coffee, took me by my sholders, looked me in the face and said, “It’s Over.” He remembers WWII well, as his older brother was in Europe during the war.
For historians, WWII is never over. In fact, I bought one more book on the subject this week, Freedom’s Forge by Arthur Herman. Freedom’s Forge is the story of how American Business produced victory in WWII. The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize, and Arthur Herman is famous for his book Churchill and Gandhi.
Three of the courses I took as part of my history MA covered WWII from various angles. I almost finished four courses covering the war, but last summer, I grew weary of the subject and dropped the classes on Britain in the twentieth century when I was half-way through the course. I quit when Mussolini had invaded Ethiopia.
So I weighed myself this morning for my WW program and I have lost 6 pounds so far. I only lost one of those pounds this past week, but I suppose that’s better to lose a pound rather than gain a pound. Slowly, I am getting back into the swing of things. I was a member of WW years ago and used what I learned to keep myself thin for years. I wasn’t sure how that would work now that I am older, but so far so good. Plus I just sent David to the store to buy a mix of vegetables for a soup. Now we will see if I get off my duff and go to the arthritis swim class tomorrow.