The Deacon's Bench
Where a Roman Catholic deacon ponders the world
VJ day, August 14, 1945, in Waikiki. According to Google, that’s less than 10 miles from Pearl Harbor.
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In my volunteer work in nursing homes and assisted living places I see people in their 80’s and upwards. They are the survivors or the “Greatest Generation” slowly but surely passing on.
Soon we will have the last survivor veteran of that terrible and bloody great war and when he or she passes away we will have left WWII in history and for the rest of us we will know about it in books and films. My hat off and a salute to those brave men and women who lived and died in a struggle for the survival of a way of life.
Now in my 70’s, I still remember how we waited each day to hear if our loved ones were OK. My parents had brothers on both sides in the service and we had many friends. Few remember just how many people were away from home serving at that time. It is nothing like today. We ended up losing two of my uncles and several friends. Later, during Vietnam, I had a brother who fought in that war. While he came home alive, he was never the same person again. I was forever impacted by this method of growing up and loss. It made us proud to be American and to fight evil even at such high personal cost.
[Edited to remove offensive content — Ed.]
My God, they were so young! The joyfulness that the dreaded invasion of the main island of Japan would never come to pass was etched in every face in that film. The awakening from the long nightmare. Powerful.
My father is a WW2 vet. Was scheduled to be part of the invasion of Japan in Operation Downfall. He is the most honest many I know. He gave up so much, and asks for so little.
NB: so nice to hear the voice of Jimmy Durante.
Please thank your father for his service, from all of us.
(Was I the only one thinking that the police now would be pulling everyone over for riding on the cars and not having seat belts or helmets?)
To see it in color! My father would have been there just months before. His ship was hit bu a kamikaze on April 11 and they committed their dead to sea on the day FDR died. The ship went to Ulithi for repairs and later my Dad went on to Hawaii for a brief time – expecting the invasion would happen without him. Oh how I miss him!
The are certainly the Greatest Generation.
Amazing. In my lifetime I have only seen parades like that after the victory of a sports team. This country needs something to cheer about as a collective whole and unite with our fellow Americans again.
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