Wednesday, June 01, 2005

memorial fish

it's a little late, but i was thinking about the meaning of memorial day, & how lucky i am that no one in my family has had to serve while i've been around, but i thought i'd fish out a few old photos & remember the service rendered by my family, both living & dead, to our country.

my stepfather, Marines Private First Class, in his dress blues. later he was medically discharged. he went into the Marines right from high school & hasn't told me much. perhaps after a few glasses of wine...

my father, Air Force Cadet.

my father with his plane. he was medically discharged due to an injury sustained while boxing for the Academy, so he never saw active service. i have a hard time imagining him being satisfied with that anyway, though i'm sure he enjoyed the training.

my father's parents at their wedding. my grandfather was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force; he won the Silver Star for bravery & flew over 100 missions on the Burma/China run in the Pacific. my grandmother was a WAC, & she trained as a pilot in Texas, though she never flew in the war (it ended before the training was finished).

my mother's father, who retired from the National Guard as a Sergeant First Class.

during World War II he was stationed as a medic in France, where he met my grandmother, & she was his war bride. their story would make an incredible novel; maybe i'll write it someday. i'll have to sit down with my Grandmere & get her to tell me stories; it's not an easy thing for her. She was a member of the French Resistance, the underground, at the age of 16. she's still got the Cross of Lorraine carved into her shinbone.

during the war my Grandpere was with the 45th Infantry Division & won the bronze star for valor, the Purple Heart, & the Combat Medical Badge.

my aunt Kas (actually my stepfather's aunt), was a WAVE. i have no images of her in uniform, only as a journalist.

kas at a memorial with other WAVES.

it's amazing how much i don't know about this part of the life of my family. war & the military are strange things. at the very least, & i suppose it's the important part of memorials, it has made me determined to learn more about this part of my history.

14 little fish:

Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

neat! this is information that will be filed in my jennsee confidential folder to be used at a later date :)

you know, when i first read it i thought you said that your stepdad was magically discharged.

As for granmere, you should get her stories soon because she's not going to be around forever and nwither will her memory. I suggest you set up and interview type-thing and bring a tape recorder. When my grandma died, I realized that I should have asked her a lot more questions and somehow recorded the stories she told me as a child.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

Great pictures...a very nice memorial. Thank you to all your family who served. I, for one, appreciate their sacrifice.

I was going to give you the same encouragement that Mysfit did, there's no time like the present to get those stories down while your grandparents are here and remember them. I'm sure you'd do a wonderful job and, at the very least, your family would probably really appreciate having these recorded. As our war veterans die I think it is more and more important that we have a recorded history of things from an individuals' perspective who lived through those times so that we don't make the mistake of forgetting the past.

12:22 PM  
Blogger anne swam up to say...

My Papy never wanted to talk about his time in the war and in the Résistance. It's made for a few neuroses of mine, even though I can't say I blame him to have wanted to forget somehow.
It is nice to see those pictures.
Is your Grandmere in France or in the US?

12:51 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

she came to the US after the war.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Daniel Heath swam up to say...

very nice set. I like the one of your Aunt Kas particularly.

what lens did you use to shoot back in time like that?

1:31 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

why, the fish lens of course - i bet you didn't know that fish eyes could see so far

1:56 PM  
Blogger phylos swam up to say...

Nice pics - nice thoughts

2:00 PM  
Blogger the wheel swam up to say...

Great pics. The last one made me smile. Old ladies are so adorable.

5:02 PM  
Blogger tescosuicide swam up to say...

Way cool.

10:53 PM  
Blogger transience swam up to say...

excellent. a story told in pictures.

11:48 PM  
Blogger Lorena swam up to say...

great, great post!!! i love looking at old photographs. what an amazing family you come from. I'm sure you are very proud.

btw, your father was very handsome :)

3:02 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

bow before the power of my time-traveling lens.

actually, i think the drive to archive comes with my blood. it's unavoidable.

8:21 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

ps: i learned that "they" used to call my Grandpere & those two others outside the tent "the three wiseman". why, i do not know.

8:22 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i was wrong, they called them the three kings.

sound familiar to anyone?

5:09 PM  

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