Today is Pearl Harbor Day. I am lucky to have had three uncles that are members of “the Greatest Generation” and were in the military during World War II. I love all of them, of course, but this post is going to focus on my Uncle JC, my father’s brother-in-law.
I grew up knowing that Uncle JC was a POW during WWII because everyone in our family knew that. He had the Purple Heart license tag on his car and his medals graced the walls of their den. He never really talked about it other than to say that he had to go to the VA hospital for this/that/the other or meet with his fellow POW’s for some gathering. In fact, he talked more about the years that he was a schoolteacher following his military service than he ever did about being a soldier, a POW, or any of that.
Just recently he has started talking about all of it, and I am encouraging my father to get his stories on audio/video tape so that I can transcribe it and the family can have a permanent written record of our American Hero, Uncle JC. I remember at a recent family get-together he suddenly started talking about being part of a forced march from one camp to another. The story came on so suddenly and took me so by surprise that I don’t remember where the camps were…but he told us how they walked and walked because the enemy had guns on them and if they stopped they’d get shot.
Someone was pointing a gun at my Uncle JC!
I know that I come across as anti-military in a lot of my posts, and that is not totally true. I think that a country, any country, unfortunately needs a military in the world we live in today. I am proud of those who can sign up and go serve, not knowing if they will come back home or not…I certainly don’t have that courage. I also think that you can’t possibly compare the world then and now or compare warfare then and now because it’s like apples and oranges. The quote that I see SO very often that more Americans died in World War II in a short period of time than have died in Iraq is a ridiculous comparison. Of COURSE more people died then. WWII soldiers didn’t have the technology we have today. WWII soldiers didn’t have the medical advancements we have today.
So I’m not anti-military…my father was in the Army, three of my uncles, as I said, were enlisted men, and one of my best friends from high school is in the Air Force. Not anti-military…I’m anti-war and anti-lying. But above all that partisan crap… I’m darned proud to be JC Cannon’s niece.