Vicky Collins Online

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Pearl Harbor Day

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 out Kipapa Gulch near the North Shore and tell my boys it’s where the Kamikaze pilots crossed onto Oahu. We used to take all our visitors to the Arizona Memorial when we drove them around the island. It was our 9/11 and it happened 69 years ago today. Not many men and women who survived that day are still alive but we should add it to the list of things to never forget.

http://pacificislandparks.com/2010/12/07/hawaii-remembers-pearl-harbor/

http://www.erikanderson.net/pearlharbor/facts.html

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.

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War and Remembrance 3

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.

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War and Remembrance

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”.

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On Veterans Day

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 he plays are glamourizing war and putting ideas in his head. I fret that he will think it is fun to blow away the enemy, and that he will see himself as some kind of fearless, reckless Rambo who always wins the battle. I have always told him college is not optional, primarily because I don’t want him going down the road to war. Mostly because I couldn’t bear the knock on the door.  I get a sick feeling in my stomach justing imagining it.  If he chooses to fight I would rather he uses all his brains and brawn to fight for peace.  Am I unpatriotic?  Where would America be if all mothers thought this way?

I deeply appreciate the service of the young men and women who go into the military.  My dad fought in World War II and my husband’s uncle died in the Korean War.  On this Veterans Day, I’m grateful to them, to those who served and to those who still do.  I’m grateful for those who sacrificed everything to protect our freedoms and those who returned home with scars that never heal.   I’m grateful for those who march off to war in far away places like Iraq and Afghanistan, who push through their fear, even as they miss home and wonder why we can’t just work things out without violence and guns.  I’m in awe of mothers who let their babies go. I don’t know how they find the courage.   I’m sure they are thinking about how children grow up in the military, how it’s a pathway to education, how they forge lifetime bonds of friendship with fellow soldiers, how they learn leadership, how they are doing heroic work and fighting to keep us safe.  I’m only seeing uniformed men coming up my walk and me collapsing.

To all the moms out there on this Veterans Day, I hope your children come home safe.  I wish you peaceful days and restful nights. And I pray that our leaders work out problems diplomatically so mothers no longer have to let sons or daughters go off to war or be photographed clutching a flag or draping themselves over the coffin of a child.  On this Veterans Day I was looking for a quotation that summed up my feelings.  I found this one by Eve Merriam who wrote “I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, “Mother, what was war?”

For more information on Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.


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Kara’s Tea Party: Am I Missing Something Here?

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 each others weddings.  We love each others spouses and parents and the relationship between our families is continuing now for a third generation.  When I travel to New York I stay with Eddie and if he ever would go west of New Jersey I would roll out the red carpet for him in Denver.  Eddie and his wife, Mary, have raised two incredible kids and I hope my children will be as worldly and successful.  I am blessed to have Eddie and his family in my life.   

As close as Eddie and I are, we are on completely different wavelengths politically.  He is very conservative and admires Sarah Palin.  I am very liberal and support Barack Obama.  We love to debate and adore each other despite our points of view.  So I shouldn’t have been surprised when he sent me a message on Facebook saying “My daughter is KICK-ASS.”  He was proud because Kara attended a Tea Party Rally in Washington D.C. and made an impromptu speech.  She talked about the dollar and how it is losing its meaning because it is no longer earned but rather allocated (she said stolen) through government programs which we are taxed to support.  Kara standing up for the populist Tea Party and shouting out for fiscal responsibility has shaken me.  Until now it has been easy for me to ignore the protesters because they look nothing like me.  I cringe when I hear Sarah Palin’s braying and  see people who remind me of my father-in-law who lives in small town Iowa when I scan the crowds.  If Kara is jumping on the bandwagon it’s time to pay attention.  I need to ask if I’m missing something here?

Another good friend who also shook his head over my politics used to tell me “If you’re young and you’re Republican you have no heart.  If you’re old and you’re a Democrat you have no head.”  So what was Kara doing at a Tea Party Rally?  I’m not certain I can dismiss this movement anymore as a bunch of Republican extremists.  If the message is making sense to smart college educated kids like Kara then perhaps the Tea Party is gaining the kind of traction that will make a difference at the polls in November.  I hope other liberals like me who look at the Tea Party as a movement that clutters the airwaves with hate speak and reaches out to the disenfranchised few and their birther friends, ask themselves if they’re missing something too.  And when they start getting uncomfortable like I am now, when they start realizing that maybe this is a party to be reckoned with, then maybe they can stand up like Kara did and make some noise.

To learn more about Vicky Collins visit http://teletrendstv.com.