Dec 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor Remembered

by Terri Wagner

Every 7th of December I ask my dad to tell me what he was doing when the news came. He never says you've heard this a thousand times (that's obviously an a lie since I'm not yet a 1,000 years old). He just launches into his story. I never had the chance to know my grandfather and I lost my grandmother far too early so this story connects me to them and to my father.

My grandparents had 2 sons. My grandfather was in the service. According to my dad, he always wore his uniform off duty or not. That particular day, the family was in the car driving around Colorado, he doesn't remember exactly where. They stopped to get gas and the attendent raced out. He saw the uniform and said, "Soldier you better get back to base right now. The Japanese just bombed Pearl Harbor."

My grandfather turned to his wife and said, "I told you they would." My grandfather spent his war years training pilots in England. He himself was was considerd too old to actually fly. Later, he and his family were stationed in Japan just months after the bombs were dropped there to end the war.

What a marvelous legacy that greatest generation gave us. I never tire of hearing that story. Nor of thinking of their sacrifices to keep me safe and free a generation or two after. As did my father by serving in Korea and Vietnam. And as always my heart and my prayers turn to our soldiers out there today still defending, protecting and keeping me safe and free.

Thank you seems too little doesn't it? And yet when I thank a soldier, a vet, anyone serving, they stop for a fleeting second and then say "you're welcome." We both nod, trying not to cry.

I also have to thank our Heavenly Father for giving us this grand and glorious place to live free. He is still protecting us. I pray and work every day to make sure His protection and their sacrifice (and that includes the families) are not in vain.

See a vet today, thank him.


  1. thanks, Terri. What a great memory and reminder to all of us. We are very blessed to live in this nation. I wish more people could understand that.

  2. Great post, Terri! I'm glad you still have your dad to question about today's memories for him.

  3. Vets can never be thanked enough. I could just picture the scene with your dad as a boy learning about Pearl Harbor. My dad served in WWII.

  4. Terri,
    I am so glad I came to this blog and got to read this story of your grandparents and your father. I know what you mean about trying not cry, after thanking a vet for his or her service. Happens every time to me, too. Beautifully written post.

  5. Thank you for your thoughts on this historic day.
    My father and father-in-law served in WWII. Dad wanted to sign up sooner but was discouraged to because he was teaching school and teachers were scarce. But when Pearl Harbor was bombed, that was the clincher. Scarcity or not, he signed up right away.

    When my father-in-law was released from his mission he didn't go home but went right into the service. I think it was two years before he saw his hometown again.


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