Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7 - Pearl Harbor Remembrance and a Special Birthday

Today is a special day for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is that 70 years ago, on December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. It was a day that President Franklin D. Roosevelt claimed would "live in infamy."

My dad enlisted in the Army right after the United States declared war on Japan, and he served in the Army's 96th Infantry Division in the Philippines and Okinawa. After the war, Dad was a disabled veteran, but growing up he didn't talk about being in the war a lot. I have one photograph of him with two other soldiers. Dad is shooting a machine gun, flanked by the other two soldiers. I wonder what he was thinking about when that photo was taken. The war was over years before I was born, but when December 7 rolled around every year, Dad did open up a bit about World War II.

In September 1970 I traveled to Honolulu to meet up with my husband for his R&R during his tour in Vietnam. While we were there we toured the USS Arizona Momument. Maybe it was because my husband was serving during the middle of another war, but touring the memorial brought the reality and sadness of the war to me.

December 7 is special for another, happier, reason: On December 7, 1961, my baby sister was born. I remember that day very well. Dad was at work, so our upstairs neighbor drove Mom to the hospital. My dad wanted to name my sister Pearl, in honor of Pearl Harbor Day. During her preganancy, Mom wanted to name her Christine if she was a girl, but then a cousin named her daughter Christine a few months earlier, so mom named our new sister Bridget Mary, which fits her perfectly. Thank goodness mom got her way on that one. Bridget was such a happy baby, and she still has a joyful personality and an easy laugh.

Today Bridget is 50. My sister Kathleen and I are going to take Bridget out to lunch.

So, today is a special day of remembrance for those lost in Pearl Harbor and the day that changed the lives of so many Americans of the "greatest generation." It also is a day of celebration for our family. The circle of life continues.

14 comments:

  1. This was a horror that we never can forget. The whole era after that, such an amazing time of both evil and the goodness that overcame it. Happy Birthday to your sis too...you will have a great day ahead.

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  2. Hi Claudia,
    Thanks. You are so right, and thanks for the birthday wishes for Bridget.
    Donna

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  3. If you want to read a book about that war from the animals' perspective, read "The Faithful Elephants." It's a picture book, and is a true story.

    I hope you three ladies had a wonderful lunch.

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  4. Thanks, Sious,
    Sounds like a great book.
    donna

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  5. Donna, my dad wanted to name me Pearl, also. Happy fun day to your sister.

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  6. Hi Linda,
    What a coincidence, but I think Linda fits you well.
    donna

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  7. It's so nice to hear stories like this on this day of remembrance! Thank you!

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  8. Today is also my son's birthday, he's 19. He is at school so I sent him pictures with a happy birthday sign in different places throughtout my day. He is very well versed in the history of Pearl Harbor and a great WWII buff. Happy Birthday to your sister.

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  9. Hi Tom,
    Thank you for your kind words.

    Hi Sally,
    Happy birthday to your son, too!

    Donna

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  10. I think it's important to always remember, but I'm also glad we can continue to celebrate life on Pearl Harbor Day.

    (And I'm so glad your mom went with Bridget. It's one of those names that just comes out of the mouth all perky :-) Hope y'all had a wonderful day!)

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  11. My best friend's birthday is Dec 7th too! Hope you had a great time!

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  12. Hi Cathy,
    Thanks. We had a lot of fun.

    Hi Lynn,
    Thanks. It was fun!

    Donna

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  13. I think Pearl would have been a nice name, too. I hope your sister had a nice birthday. We have two birthdays coming up in my family, two of my sons were born in December - 11th and 13th.

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