Sunday, March 25, 2018 – Palm Sunday, Family Visit, World War II Comments

Palm Sunday

Up early today for 7:30 am Chapel, my beloved church since moving to Ponte Vedra in 1986.     When we first came to Ponte Vedra looking for a retirement community, friends invited us to Chapel service, held, except for bad weather, in a pavilion on the beach.  We were so impressed that Scott said after the service, “These are the kind of people we want to live among.”  The next day we bought a house here, and I still count my blessings for this decision.

Today’s sermon on Palm Sunday was excellent, stressing the happenings of Holy Week. a week of events that changed the world.  I always remember my granddaughter on Palm Sunday.  At that time, a small pre-school child, she would come to Chapel with us along with her mother.  One Palm Sunday at the end of the sermon this precocious, loving, caring little girl pulled my head down and whispered in my ear, “Don’t worry, Grandmother.  He’s alive again on Sunday.”  At that early age she had captured the essence of the message of Easter.  We serve a loving, living God..

Family Visit – one week of fun activities and loving memories!

My son and his family were visiting here all last week.  Two of my  other children live in this area.  One I live with in a separate apartment attached to their house and the other a short 30 minutes away.  We had a wonderful, joyful week of daily getting together in one house or another or at the Club..  Lots of laughs, sharing of past events and planning future ones.  I am very blessed to have a family who cherishes each other, supports each other, values each other.

Memories from WW II

Some of the family members asked me what it was like as a teenager during World War II.

I was 15 that infamous day  Dec. 7, 1941, when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.  I had gone to the afternoon movie with a friend, a favorite pastime in the small Midwest town in Indiana where I lived.  As we came out of the movie, we were told of this event by people standing around in the streets stunned at what had happened.  My uncle and aunt were visiting that day.  Their son was in the Navy serving on a ship at Pearl Harbor.  I rushed home to find a very upset, frantic family.  My uncle had called someone in Washington but could get no news.  My cousin survived that day and served the Navy the entire war.    This cousin was so inept with a gun, that my uncle refused to take him hunting.  Also he had flunked out of college.  His angry father refused to support him so he had joined the Navy.  However, during this crisis at Pearl Harbor, he displayed such qualities that he was given a field commission.  I saw him many years later when I visited Seattle.  He had built a successful business dealing with boats, which his sons had taken over after his retirement.   He did comment that as a result of his war experiences he battled a drinking problem, which he finally got under control.

After Pearl Harbor, life rapidly changed.  In some ways, never to be the same.  War was declared and the nation went on wartime status.  The  drafting of all able bodied men 18  and over began. U S industry began immediately retooling, gearing up, to build the necessary weapons, tanks, etc.  If a man wanted a choice of what service to be in, he volunteered.  The next day recruiting offices were besieged by men volunteering to serve and save their country.  Your paternal grandfather was among this group.  He became a Navy pilot. A friend of mine wrote a book about his experiences in WWII titled “We Went Willingly.”

Shortly rationing of food, gasoline , etc. began.  When I went to college in Sept, 1944, I had to take my ration books with me.

It is difficult to put into words the  effect of this Dec., 1941, event.  It touched every aspect of our lives and oh so rapidly.

Japan had attacked us in a treacherous way.  It was a tremendous shock!!  Japan had diplomatic people in Washington, DC,  supposedly in peace negotiation with the US government.   Europe was in a huge war with Hitler’s Germany the aggressor and the German troops were conquering too rapidly too many countries

Our military was not in good shape.  If Japan had immediately following Pearl Harbor attacked our West Coast, one wonders what would have been the result.  Had Hitler immediately after Dunkirk  attacked the coast of the U K, what would have been the result?  The war was not going well on any front on Dec 7, 1941. The situation would not improve immediately.

As a teenager, I saw teenage boys change into men who would soon be called into active military duty……many of whom did not return.  Those who did return came back changed.

I will continue with this in my next blog.  I am surprised after so many years, how emotional it is to write about this. I want be sure to write correctly.

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