Struggle

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.

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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. 

12 thoughts on “Struggle

  1. I understand your obsession. Though I have no connection with it, not even a Jewish relative, I have always been – ‘fascinated’ is too voyeuristic a word and ‘obsessed’ too strong – interested in the Holocaust. It’s important to remember these events.

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  2. I was elementary school age that Sunday morning when Mom heard about Pearl Harbor on the radio as we went off to church. I’m not sure I grasped the significance of it all then, but soon did in the following days and years. My older high school age brother was chomping at the bit to serve but Mom was able to see that he finished high school before he enlisted in the Navy. There was time later for him to be exposed to that war and the South Pacific tensions with the Japanese streaming toward Australia where he was sent.

    Many years later when he moved to Oahu, I recall going to Hickam Field to welcome home my nephew. He was probably the age of so many who died there. Standing next to the runway watching his flight land I experienced unsettling sensations as I gazed around me, recalling all the accounts of the killing and destruction there on that Pearl Harbor Day. Tears come to my eyes now as I once again imagine the ghosts of those who lives were taken from them there.

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  3. Just another thing in common. I have devoured every book I could get a hold of about WWII. I, too, had a hiatus but find myself riveted to the TV every time there’s a new special on it.

    The latest one was Joseph Goebbels movie production of “Titanic” which was supposed to be an expose’ of sorts on the decadence of British society and the movie that would outdo Hollywood! It was started when Germany was basking in the glory of early conquests but when it was finished later in the war, Germany was reeling and it was more of a metaphor of Hitler “sailing the country toward disaster”. Although it played in other countries, Goebbels never allowed it to be screened in Germany.

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  4. None of my family fought in the war though like your dad, mine tried but was also 4f. Flat feet I think. He ended up going to Alaska as an engineer with a private firm to build air fields there for the Airforce. I vaguely remember VE day, the death of our president and the bombing of Japan. The rest of the war did not enter my child’s world except when my Daddy was gone and also the nasty taste of canned milk.

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  5. You will do it as you are tired of hurting. Yes, my dad was sent to Ft. Hood, and texas was his all. He came home a confirmed drunk. My first husband did Korea, and I did Ft. Eustis. LOL Did did a military academy and came home to get clean and sober. Right now I am really fascinated by that building boom of the brick forts.

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  6. Mom was 9 years old when grandma got a phone call. Grandma hung up and said, “She must be losing her mind; she says we’re under attack.” Things were freaky after that.

    I posted the bananas on PIN It! “Long yellow things” made me laugh. 🙂

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