As our Hound reminded us yesterday, today is the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Whereas people recount where they were when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11,(and before that, it was where they were when JFK was shot), we who were American Baby Boomers heard our elders recount tales of when they heard about Pearl Harbor. Many people realized that it affected not only those who were in the immediate attack, but also that it would have international repercussions. It affected almost everyone over the next few years, into the next generation. Many of us were a direct result of World War II, as people who never would have met, from vastly different places and backgrounds , were thrown together in the wave of The War,(as our parents called it).
So with this in mind, I will write my prompt as I often do, based on a true story.
In the late 1970’s, the two elderly sisters sat in their usual spot across the small dining area table facing each other. One had been married, raised her children and was now a grandmother many times over. Her somewhat younger sister, who had never married, was a retired practical nurse. One of their favorite younger nephews had never lived alone, and when his mother, (their late brother’s wife), died, they had both, unknown to each other, decided to move in with him .At their age, it was hard to tell who was taking care of whom, but the nephew was fond of the women and glad not to be alone,(and was glad not to be alone with one elderly woman!) And so, their place at the table was set, in more ways than one.
The women doted on the man and several of his cousins, especially one young woman, who was also unmarried. The friends of the nephew found the women always ready to make them welcome, listen to their problems and always ready to tell stories as well. One recurring tales was how their youngest brother was killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The women always spoke sadly of the young brother who had joined the Navy just before the onset on WWII, gone off to see something of the world before resuming his place running the family farm. The younger sister had tried to run it alone until he got home, since all of the other brothers and sisters had moved to on, mostly away to cities. The woman had even tried to continue to do so after they got the government telegram with the tragic news, but the land was poor and rocky, far from any town and after a while she, too, left. She had a neighbor watching the place, but lightning struck the house one night during a storm and the only thing left standing was the chimney, the only source of heat in the house, which was also without plumbing or electricity.
After so many years of hearing the stories of her aunts, including the stories of the letters from their ‘baby’ brother describing the beauties of Hawaii, the niece…???
It is an interesting story, can you guess? I will tell by tomorrow it if you leave me some posts!
Hmm. I think the neice travelled to Pearl Harbor to find the burial site and write an article or story about that family tragedy. However once she dug into it, she discovered the gov’t telegram had been WRONG … the bro. was not killed in that attack.
Did I tell you the story before? Yep, She looked and dug and to find some grave or memorial and found HIM.
I don’t recall you telling this before, but it’s certainly possible. I was just sniffing out the trail of a great story idea.
The man claimed that the records were destroyed and he did not know where to go home, which is bunk.I mean, he didn’t have amnesia and the government found the family in order to send them the death notice. I can understand where his mindset was, though. The family thought he was dead; he knew they would never understand that he did not want to go back…and the man was truly in paradise,(as opposed to “point of Rocks”, the name of where the farm was). However, his sisters would not hear of it;they wanted no part of what he had to say or of the pictures the niece brought back.As far as they were concerned, their brother died at Pearl Harbor;which, for them, he did.
wow. powerful stuff.
sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
It’s a somber realization to think of how many vibrant lives and loves were lost.
So much waste.Surely, there are other ways.