Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day

When I walked into a nursing facility for work on Tuesday, December 7, I mentioned to a few residents sitting nearby that it was Pearl Harbor Day. Two men later came up and shared personal experiences they remembered on that day.

One of the men was a boy living with his family in Navy housing near Pearl Harbor. His dad left for work down at the harbor not suspecting anything unusual. When the sirens went off, this man (then a boy) and his mother went into an underground bomb shelter. When all was clear and they returned to their home, they found that one side of the house had bullet sprays all across from the living room through the kitchen including through the refrigerator and into a bedroom. His father was safe but lost some of his friends.

Another man, also a young boy at that time, told how during the week after the attack, his dad packed the whole family up and drove from San Diego up to Monterrey to enlist in the army. He was turned down because he had three children, so they returned back to San Diego. Many things were in short supply and couldn't be purchased, like shoes. His father would drive to Mexico and purchase huaraches (leather sandals) for his children. This little boy didn't have a pair of shoes other than the sandals until he was 7 or 8.

Both were grateful for their dad's example of service and patriotism to their country and the freedoms we enjoy. What a great reminder of the American spirit on a tragic day years ago.