My mother would often tell me the story. It was a Sunday morning. She was sweeping the basement floor and listening to the radio when the announcement came that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.
She shut the radio off as if that would make the news go away.
I’m sad to realize I never got Dad’s story–where he was when he heard.
My parents hadn’t married yet. He joined the navy. She joined the Coast Guard. Dad shipped out as a corpsman to the South Pacific. Mom, ironically, served in Oklahoma, a state that has no coast to guard.
Today, one of my great-nieces is in Texas training to become a navy corpsman.
Eighty years of history have come and gone. There are so few today alive to tell us where they were when they heard about Pearl Harbor.
And we are now at the point where students only know of 9/11 because of their elders explaining where they were when they heard.
It’s an effective way to pass history along. When the young hear our stories, those of our own or those passed down to us, they remember. History becomes real to them.
We must pass along history, for “History is a story written by the finger of God.” (Lewis)
“Lord of hosts be with us yet,
“Lest we forget–lest we forget.” (Kipling)
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