Just about this time last year I was sitting in a Starbucks enjoying a coffee and their Internet connection while waiting to meet my granddaughter, I got into a conversation with a Salisbury University Student. Herself has all kinds of words to describe my verbal engagement with others. She considers herself anonymous, me, I’m the opposite. My previous interaction in the Birmingham, Alabama car rental return line is a perfect example.
It was early December when I was in that Starbucks and 12/07/1941 always comes to mind this time of the year. I was not born until two years later, but the history of the events at Pearl Harbor are forever etched in my Cerebral Cortex. What happened at Pearl Harbor was taught in History class when I went to school. My father fought in the war that followed, ending in 1945. I was a war child and now there are few who fought in that war left to tell their story.
I don’t remember my exact words but I’m sure I said something like “any thought on what tomorrow is in our history?” He looked up at me with a blank look on his face, “Pearl Harbor Day” I say in a questioning tone. A no clue look on his face at my ice breaker. I’m sure he was not happy to be torn away from Twitter, Snap Chat or Instagram. I was later happy to learn he was studying for a Civil Rights History class, was from the western shore, that’s the other side of the Chesapeake Bay and was a Junior at SU.
The old who, what, why. where and when had kicked in. Sometimes I just amaze myself with what I remember. I’m pretty good at establishing place and time when I hear a song from the 50’s and 60’s also. Glenn Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was the #1 song on this important day, I’m not that old that I remember that though.
My point as I seem to be rambling along is: this young college student told me he was not familiar with, nor was never taught anything about Pearl harbor in school. We spoke further about geography and there was a lot lacking on that front also. I’m just amazed where our education system has gone. I’m happy he elected a history class in Civil Rights, there is hope. The young man later admitted that he had heard of Pearl Harbor through the movie but had no idea of the date.
To all who lost their lives on that day, I remember and I Honor you.
John’s uncle was a Pearl Harbor survivor. He died a few years ago at age 97. Until the last year of his life, he went to public schools to share his experience with grade schoolers.