War Memories

I was born in 1938 at the end of January. WWII ended in 1945. My grandma Celia took me to a movie. When we left for the movie, it was daylight but when we came back to her house, there was a note on the door with a fine. There had been an air raid while we were at the movie and I had left a light on. The light could have caused us to be bombed and there was a fine. I felt guilty. I recall also, that we were given 8X10 cards made of that grey cardboard like on the back of secretary notebooks. On them was printed silhouettes of enemy planes. We were encouraged to memorize them so that we could relate what kind of plane we saw if we were bombed, to the proper authority. I can also remember getting under my desk in an air raid. I can remember running home at noon to see the testing of atom bombs on the black and white tv…the screen would flash and then go dark to slowly come back to normal.

I remember grandma Shick, (actually my babysitter) taking me to the movies (at 25 cents a head) and starting to cry when we passed a house that had a star and a black flag like object hanging from it. The boy she knew from there had just been killed in the war. I remember more than just a couple of these occurring.

I remember Dad taking us out with pillow cases to collect milkweed pods with the fuzzy seeds…to give them to civil defense as they would be used to make life jackets for the soldiers. I remember tokens for gas and food, some in a book with a red cover and some that were cardboard like discs the size of a dime. I remember being dressed in my little soldier uniform and being told how to hold my hand over my heart when the flag passed in the parade grandma Shick took me to. I remember the men dressed in uniform throwing a large wreath of flowers off the bridge in New Bethlehem and the wreath going downstream on the water as they honored the dead soldiers.
Now…I remember my son being against war and not understanding my feeling of God and country.

5/26/12   Another Memorial day tomorrow.  And more memories of why we are hopefully still the greatest country in the world, and how we got and stayed that way.  Young people in general have no comprehension whatsoever of all the lives lost to protect our freedom.  Yes, we too were the infidels, that murdered countless numbers of indians to take over this country.  No, I am not proud of that, but then, I wouldn’t be here if it had not happened.  ‘Tis a quandary.


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