Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day thanks, and a charity clambake

I'm thinking today about three veterans of World War II: My dad, a good friend, and my husband's father, whom I never met.

Peter's dad was part of a railroad corps stationed in Belgium, where he maintained train cars sent over from the U.S. to move troop supplies and equipment. He survived the war and raised a family. At age 50, on his way to bowling one evening, he was killed by a drunk driver.

My dad was assigned to the Army Signal Center in London, where he endured the bombing and transcribed classified strategic conversations between Pentagon officials and military and diplomatic leaders in London and Paris. Dad was interviewed last summer for an oral history project, and he shared copies with me and my siblings...a wonderful gift. He has lived in Hibbing, Minnesota, since 1948, and this week will move with my stepmother to an assisted living facility in St. Cloud, which is closer to us and where we should be able to visit them more regularly. I was just eight months old when my 28-year-old dad went off to war; My early childhood photos show an extended family of women and children waiting for the men to return, and I have some very sweet letters from a proud young daddy to his little girl, along with a Scottish tam that he sent from afar.

Wayne Terwilliger, front left, with fellow Marines on Saipan
Our friend Wayne Terwilliger joined the Marines at 18 and spent his tour of duty in combat in the South Pacific. He was part of the landing at Iwo Jima and saw the flag go up on Mount Suribachi. He was also in the assault wave at the horrendous battle of Saipan. A photograph showing him in the midst of a sniper attack has appeared in various magazines and newspapers, and the US Postal Service featured it ten years ago when they commemorated the 1940s. His book includes an entire chapter on his wartime experiences, and helping write it made that war much more vivid for Peter and me.

To our dads and our friend Wayne, and to their young selves who went off and fought for their country, thank you.

And now for something entirely different....
Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub.. It's the last day of the month and time for the next image from the Men of York calendar produced by the Chamber of Commerce to raise funds for charities of York, Maine These gents represent Foster's Downeast Clambakes, and the tagline on their photo is "Hot Hot Hot...and steamy!" I won this calendar from Eva in a giveaway and have shared the photos each month; this is one of my favorites.

See you in June!

19 comments:

DJan said...

I too love this calendar picture!! And remembering all those in our country who served, and especially those in my family, living and dead. Blessings to you and yours on this day.

Grandmother said...

I like that you made it so personal by family and friends' stories. My 3 uncles went to war but never spoke of it. And I lived in ME for 5 years and loved the photo!

FabuLeslie said...

Great soldier stories. Oh, I love that pic of the men in the tub... I bet my little Olive would bark her head off at it when it's time to change it!

Pearl said...

Nicely done. :-)

Pearl

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing. My dad fought in Africa during WWII.

ModernMom said...

Oh your comment about family pictures being of women raising their kids waiting for their men to come home..sigh...heart wrenching. Wonderful post. Happy Memorial Day to you and yours.

Anita said...

What a blessing it is to have our armed forces, past and present. This "is" a day to be thankful.

Allyson said...

Oh goodness the men in your life have done some amazing things, as have the women who stood by them. As we prepare for Neal's next 12-month deployment to Iraq and start the baby-making process all over again, I was thinking to myself that I can't do it. I can't raise a child alone, without its father to be there and help. Your post just reminded me that yes I can. That women have done it for decades and not only did it, but were successful. Thank you for the reminder. It was much needed today!

grammy said...

Great Calendar (o:
Great comment by Allyson
my Dad was in Pearl Harbor and his ship the USS Oklahoma was sunk...but he lived to serve another 4 years in the Navy.
God Bless all our Military men (o:

Leah Rubin said...

That was a beautiful tribute. I always think of my dad and his two brothers who served overseas in WWII. You know far more about your dad's service than I do about mine. His middle brother came back with some 'shell shock', and no one wanted to talk much about it. But your words are very stirring. Thanks for this message.

L.

Ms Sparrow said...

I have a grandson and a nephew in the armed forces. War affects everybody in some way. Peace!

Jeanie said...

A beautiful post and tribute. They were for suer the "Greatest Generation", both the soldiers and the women who stood with them.

The Good Cook said...

This is a beautiful tribute to the men who fought so valiantly. The oral history project is one of the most ambitious and important recordings of our nation's history. Congrat's to your dad for telling his story.

JenJen said...

Both my uncle and my grandfather lied about their ages to serve in two different wars...amazing men.

Cheryl said...

Our long-time neighbor was one of the soldiers who raised the flag on Iwo. He never recovered from his experiences in the war. He spent the rest of his short life lonely, depressed, and isolated. Sad what they didn't know now about PTSD and the help he could have gotten had anyone known.

Thanks for the beautiful tribute.

I wish that photo were larger. Since I live right around the corner from all of these places, I might just know some of these calendar men!

Cheryl said...

Our long-time neighbor was one of the soldiers who raised the flag on Iwo. He never recovered from his experiences in the war. He spent the rest of his short life lonely, depressed, and isolated. Sad what they didn't know now about PTSD and the help he could have gotten had anyone known.

Thanks for the beautiful tribute.

I wish that photo were larger. Since I live right around the corner from all of these places, I might just know some of these calendar men!

Colleen said...

Thank you to all our active and retired military and thank you for posting such a lovely tribute.

Pearl said...

p.s. Fixed your link on my blog! Sorry about that!

:-)

Pearl

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great men you wrote about today..how sad about Peter's Dad, everyday is a gift I guess.

Those guys are a little hot and steamy ..the calendar shots are really something..:)

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