They all sort of jumble out. I guess I was lucky that no members of my immediate family were in either WWI or WWII… all either too old or too young for service.
But on Remembrance Day, I meditate on the following:
– on Don Kemsley, who was there, and was aboard the landing craft on D-day. And in Italy. Don passed away a little over a year ago, now.
– on Corporal Brent Poland, who I worked with at Alias Research Inc., who died because of an IED in Afghanistan on April 8, 2007.
And I remember stories.
I was in two productions of Waiting for the Parade; once, I played the wife of an MIA soldier who comes back at the end of the war. The other time, I played a mother of two young men: one in battle, one in jail for protesting the war. Before I was in the play the first time, I talked with my Mom. Her family rented an upstairs room to a young bride whose husband was off fighting WWII. Alas, one day, two men were at the door for her. Her husband had died. My mother remembered, as a young child, hearing the grief of the woman upstairs, pacing the floor, sobbing, sobbing, for the husband who would never come home again.
My grandfather, during WWII, was on a ship laying transatlantic cables. He wasn’t part of the war effort (too old for battle), but the work he was doing helped ensure communications. His ship was never hit. They figured the Germans thought it was a decoy, and so didn’t attack it. That didn’t stop the Germans from hitting ships all around them, though. And there was little they could do from their cable ship, hearing the sounds of whistling bombs, seeing the fires, hearing the screams of men dying. Those memories haunted my grandfather.
Let us remember, and not forget.