Today - Memories

Momma, Daddy and Me - 1953

Today would have been my parent's 57th anniversary. The joke was that it made it easier for Dad to remember. Dad, you see, was a sailor.

Dad always observed Veteran's Day. He was a member of both the Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. As far as I know, he never missed a Veteran's Day memorial. Yet, he seldom spoke of his experiences as a wounded survivor of WWII.

In fact, in all the years before his death, I only remember him telling three stories about the years he spent in the Navy. Two had to do with kamikaze attacks and the other was about the liberation of a tiny South Pacific island - Pohnpei.

Dad served in both the North Atlantic and the South Pacific. He went into the service as a blond haired, blue-eyed boy, according to his enlistment records and returned a black haired, green-eyed man. His finger prints had to sent to Washington before he was released from service because they did not believe he was the same person.

It is my understanding that the ship he served on in the North Atlantic was terminally damaged. I am not sure if it happened during D-day or some time after, but he was sent to the South Pacific after that.

In the South Pacific, he served on the U.S.S. Hyman, a destroyer. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to meet some of his ship mates at a reunion in Boston. The bond these men have is stronger and deeper than family.

Today, as I remember both my parents and all the men and women who have served this country, I will say both a Prayer of Thanksgiving for all those who served to allow us to live the lives we live and a Prayer of Petition asking that those serving in danger overseas will soon be returned to their families, safe and sound.


J. Barry said…
Dad was a hero. I read the log books from the USS Hyman, there I found out a lot about what Dad never told me. Dad's crew mates were all heroes too. They should never be forgotten. I am proud of my father and the men he served with.
Linda said…
From my sister Patty:

Daddy was also my hero. He served on three Destroyers; The USS Hyman, The USS Doran & The USS Holmes. I too got to meet many of his buddies at the USS Hyman reunion.
There's was an unbreakable bond. Daddy used to get quite emotional with the passing of the flag or the playing of "Taps". His eyes would tear up as mine do today. I once asked him what he and his shipmates did when a kamakazi once hit one of the ships he was on and it started to sink. He said, "We just floated in the water until someone (another ship) came along and picked us up." WOW!!! Rusty and Daddy used to swap WWII to vet....I miss and love you so much Daddy. Patty
Courtney said…
What a hansom man he was!! I thought about Papa all day today! We will never know how truly brave and courageous Papa and his shipmates really were but I know with out a doubt they were all heroes! I am proud to be his granddaughter!
Silindile Ntuli said…
Your father was a true hero, and a very handsome one at that.

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