Today, the 7th of December, is Pearl Harbor Day – the anniversary of the attack on the U.S. military bases in Hawaii, which led to America’s entry into the Second World War. It was, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt (a fellow philatelist) declared, “A date which will live in infamy.”
My continuing patriotism, despite my expat status, stems from listening to family stories about the war during my childhood. I remember my father telling us about the victory gardens he helped with as a very young boy but I don’t recall what his father did during the war (he was a German born in Russia but had arrived in the States in the early part of the 1900’s). Dad joined the U.S. Army in the 1950’s and was a missile instructor stationed out of Fort Bliss, Texas. My grandfather on my mother’s side of the family served in the U.S. Navy; at one point, he was the “cribbage champion” of the entire Pacific Fleet. Her mom also served in the Navy but I’m not sure exactly what she did. (Time to write my aunt and find out…)
On this day, I will offer a minute of silent prayer not only to those who served and died on December 7, 1941, but to all those Americans who served during the entire Second World War – on the battlefields, on and under the seas, in the air, and at home. Thanks for your patriotism and sacrifices.