Today is Pearl Harbor Day, commemorating the Japanese attack on Hawaii on December 7, 1941 which brought America into World War II. President Roosevelt called it a “date that will live in infamy.” It was the backstory for kids who grew up in the islands. We learned about the horror in history books and movies like “Tora, Tora, Tora.” To this day I still point … Continue reading Pearl Harbor Day
My conversation with Ben Coker, Jr. of South Carolina continues following my Veterans Day post.
In response to your letter to me, I very respectfully offer the following:
I agree with you on the point you made about unity going into WWII. We had been seriously violated by Japan’s blatant and flagrant attack on us at Pearl Harbor. However before I discuss that issue, let’s examine the time at which these events occurred. In 1929 the Stock Market crashed and left a nation in disarray and financially devastated. My father was born in 1910, my mother 1917. They told us children of the difficulty they had suffered through the ensuing years to the conclusion of the war. The American people’s endurance of these traumatic years prepared them to face the difficult years of WWII. They were united and had resolved to defeat the tyrants who had inflicted so much devastation.
This unity persisted throughout WWII; However Churchill had made repeated requests of President Roosevelt to enter the war as ally to England and France without fruition. Our leadership had taken the position that “We did not have a dog in the fight” which seems to be the attitude of most people about so many issues that so immensely impact our lives. Nevertheless, coming out of WWII our nation remained united and we enjoyed much growth and financial advancement during the fifties. Nonetheless, there was an effort by the Communist nations after WWII to spread communism throughout the world. Russia and China were asserting themselves in the effort to spread communism to other nations even if this had to be achieved through hostile action as it had been done in so many other instances.
I received a very thoughtful response from Ben Coker, Jr. of South Carolina to my Veterans Day post. He and I are having a dialogue about war and peace and our obligations as Americans. We have never met and I sense we are on two sides of the political spectrum but we are sharing our opinions and trying to understand where the other is coming from. In the meantime I am getting quite a history lesson. I’ll be sharing our conversation with you. Read on:
Good morning Ms. Collins,
I read with great interest you column on your inability to endure your son’s telling you that he would like to join the military. In that column you expressed your gratitude for those who have and are currently serving their country. Your point is well taken, but let me offer the following thoughts. It is only natural for a mother to protect her children; however please allow me to offer the following.
I was born in 1948 and grew up in a very rural area in South Carolina. I had two uncles on my dad’s side that fought in “The Battle of The Bulge” in Germany during WWII. I had other relatives that were deployed to other parts of the world in order to maintain freedom for our beloved America. As I was growing up, I vividly remember the horror stories on TV of the atrocities on sea, land and in the air. One of my uncles was never ever able to re-adjust to life after the war. He had a family with five children, but he was an alcoholic. My other uncle acclimatized well to life after the war.
However, having been born in 1948 I can remember an abundance of patriotism for WWII. There were many movies depicting battles of WWII. We children were drilled on the importance of our military and the need to support the military. I was always very interested in “Operation Overlord” or better known “D Day”. I educated myself on the events that motivated Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor and our subsequent “Declaration of War” on Germany and the other countries allied with Germany.
Other underlying facts involved the genocide initiated by Germany and the the theft of the people throughout Europe who did not adhere to Nazism. Our nation endured much pain and suffering in order to defeat Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo. Of course there were many more who rose to power whom we eventually defeated, but the fact remains, the USA paid an enormous cost. from this war rose some of the most courageous leaders ever known. In fact Tom Brokaw wrote a book about the forefathers who endured that period of time. The name of his book was “The Greatest Generation”.
As a mother I can’t imagine my son coming to me and saying he’s going to join the military. I am not brave enough for that conversation. I don’t ever want to sit across the table and hear that news. Every time my son hyperventilates over “Call of Duty” (he bought Black Ops on the first day it was out) I worry the video games … Continue reading On Veterans Day
Eddie is one of my very closest friends. We have known each other since we were teenagers and knew of each other even longer. Our fathers were best friends and Polish immigrants who met in London following World War II and came to America on the Queen Mary together. When I lived in Connecticut and Eddie was in New York we hung out together every other weekend. We attended … Continue reading Kara’s Tea Party: Am I Missing Something Here?