Thursday, September 11, 2014

Day 244, September 11

9/11 is an infamous day in the history of the United States.  For me, it has a far more personal meaning:  it is my parents' anniversary.

My parents met in Washington, DC during WWII.  Those two young people fell in love.  My mother followed my father to California, where they were married.  There was no long white dress or sit-down dinner or even a buffet following their wedding.  My mother wore a simple yellow suit, my father his naval uniform.  Soon after they were married, my father was shipped to the Pacific Theatre, where he was wounded aboard a ship which was torpedoed.

Though he was given the option of being sent home, he refused to take it.  (The Red Cross urged him to go home, seeing as two brothers had recently died.) Instead, he stayed there and helped write letters to the families of those men who were killed.  He kept up correspondence with those family members for many years.

My mother worked, saving money for when her sweetheart would return home.  She lived modestly, sharing the small home of my father's sister and her family.

Months later, my father returned to the States.  He needed further treatment for his wounds.  After this, he enrolled in college, then law school on the GI Bill.  Even with that financial aid, he and my mother worked long hours while he went to school, he as a short order cook and she with the Department of Engraving and Printing.

The word entitlement did not exist then, at least not in their vocabulary.  The very idea would have baffled them.  There was work, sacrifice, service, and more work.  They did their best to pass these values on to my sister and me.

Joy for today:  remembering my parents.

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