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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Barely Old Enough To Remember

I remember the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. I was only three at the time, but I still remember my mother kept saying, "O my God!" over and over, the look on her face, and asking her "Mommy, what's wrong?" She said, "The Japs just bombed Pearl Harbor." I didn't know what a Jap was or where Pearl Harbor was or why it made my mother so upset, but I learned as I grew older and saw the newsreels in the Linwood Theater across from where we lived on Hudson Street, and saw the war movies that came out showing our troops fighting. And mostly I remember because my Daddy had to go away and get wounded on Iwo Jima. Yes, sadly, I remember. I remember the blackouts, the rationing, Grandmom Schunck saving our cooking grease in a can so it could go into the war effort to be used as a lubricant. I remember the war bond drives, savings stamps, recruiting posters, "Loose lips sink ships" and a lot of other things I would rather not. My sister, Donna, was only six weeks old when it happened, and everyone was already torn up because Grandpop Schunck was in bed paralyzed with a stroke and would die shortly thereafter. Yes, I remember. It was a terrible time, and we have lived with the aftermath all of our lives. It was not until the war was over that the truth about the atrocities committed by the Axis Powers came to full light. The concentration camps, the gassing ovens, the death marches, the true evil and brutality that took place finally showed how much inhumanity could be committed in the name of nationalism. None of us should ever forget or let it happen again.

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