Remember Pearl Harbor
Sixty-four years ago today, Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, plunging the U.S. into World War II against the Axis powers. On this day, please take a moment to check out Pearl Harbor Remembered, particularly these survivor's tales. While you're at it, National Geographic has a site about Pearl Harbor, complete with a nifty Flash-animation multimedia display showing the timeline and map of that attack.
And, remember, above all, the price our veterans paid to defeat these threats to freedom.
"Remember Pearl Harbor." As the events of WW II recede into the past, the memories fade. My father was a WW II veteran. A forward observer, he far outlived the average lifespan of such. He died almost six years ago. I had asked him many times to write his memoirs of the war. He finally started. I remember him poring over his old German map of Europe, writing at his computer. Some time after he died I read what he had written. There was a lot, most of very interesting. It stopped at the point where he had landed in Europe after D-Day and just before he went into combat. All that is now lost, along with the personal stories of so many who fought in that war. I'm glad you remember, and I hope you keep posting to remind the rest of us.ReplyDelete
By the time the 75th anniversary rolls around, most of the WWII veterans will have died. I searched for a "Visual Hisotry Project" similar to the one I interview Holocaust survivors for, and was unable to find one that encompasses the entire body of veterans. Perhaps I missed it. I hope so.ReplyDelete
I read Mark's comments with interest. I have been fortunate enough to own my grandparents' letters to each other from the time he went overseas in December 1942 until after VE day when my grandmother packed up my mother and uncle and joined him in Panama for an intended stay of a year (which turned out to be only 4 months) They are fascinating stories and I'm trying to figure out how to preserve them.ReplyDelete
We still have my father's letters to his mother, but, inexplicably, not his letters to my mother. The letters give a real insight into what a young man from a small Southern town thought about his experiences after he was drafted. The lack of a memoir about his actual combat experiences leaves a void that I find hard to explain. It's as if a part of him that could have survived died along with him. Based on what most WW II vets say, their combat experiences were the most powerfully emotional in their lives. Now all we have left of my father's is a few unrelated anecdotes he used to tell. The full story can never be told.ReplyDelete
DawnCNM said: "I have been fortunate enough to own my grandparents' letters to each other ..snip..They are fascinating stories and I'm trying to figure out how to preserve them."ReplyDelete
Get yourself a good scanner. Scan the letters just like they were photographs (do not bother with OCR, Optical Character Readers). I prefer JPEG format because most computers can handle that. I usually like to use 200 dpi (dots per inch).
THEN... see if you can burn them to a CD. BUT... most importantly, find printer paper made with 100% cotton, and print them out. Wood fiber papers detiorate after time, but cotton paper does not. I got a ream of 100% cotton paper at a university book store... since college libraries like doctorial theses on cotton (it is available elsewhere, but the book store next to the university had it cheaper than anywhere).
If you can scan and print the letters in the next couple of weeks... you will have some great holiday gifts for your relatives.
A cousin sent me her family's Bibles (there were two of them). In them were lists of births, weddings, deaths and temperence pledges (one of those pledges was from a great-uncle we never knew about because he died a couple years later when he was ten years old). I scanned all those pages... plus all the flowers that had been pressed in the pages. I printed them out (since they were in color I used photo-paper), and made CD-rom copies of them.
It sounds like great memories of World War II to share. A couple of years ago I read a great book on young bride's memory of her experience during WWII... it was _When it was Our War_ by Stella Suberman . The letters you have could possibly have similar themes.