ICC Sevathon 2024 | Join us on August 25 and enjoy a day of fitness and fun

A War Veteran Recalls Historic Moments

Play Video
you've asked if i was ever involved in an historic event i've lived a long life i'm 85 now so my life qualifies as a kind of history but i can't say that i recall actually being on scene or in the room at an historic event still three historic moments come to mind which affected me personally the earliest such event was pearl harbor it was a sunday when i was five years old i was lying on the floor watching embers glow and flames dance in the fireplace while my dad listened to a concert and read the paper in a chair next to me the concert was interrupted and i still remember the look on my dad's face at what he heard john daly's voice that afternoon has also stayed with me ever since though as is characteristic of a five-year-old the memory is no more than a vignette a still picture in my mind it was the day of infinity we were at war with japan my next sharp memory was when i was eight years old general eisenhower was to have a parade in new york right up the street outside my dad's office although it was a school day i rode into the city on the train with my dad i felt very grown up a woman who worked in the office was charged to get me to the parade dad's idea was that i would go to the roof of his office at 45 east 17th street from where we would have a vantage point to watch the parade that's not how it turned out instead we went to ground level along the parade route the excitement of the crowd is what i remember but i couldn't see anything through the thronged grown-ups suddenly an excited man bent down and swooped me up onto his shoulders just then the open convertible with the familiar face of the general drove by that too is an image i will never forget i know now that it was june 19 1945 a day for jubilation and as general eisenhower put it that day today is not because one individual one american came back from war it is rejoicing that a nasty job is done a nation united was able to shout its joy and to steal itself for the nasty job still ahead as the parade neared dad went to the roof expecting i'd be there hence my other memory is how dad reacted thinking i had missed the whole thing although it was disturbing at the time i still draw comfort today from his caring so long ago humans are more given to compassion and mutuality than they are to conflict and war as the destruction of warfare gave way to joy and peace the hard work to rebuild the lives and nations that war had destroyed began we are the beneficiaries of that reconstruction may 9th 1970 was another day that stands out in my memory i was 33 years old the unity of world war ii was long gone the country was in chaos over our involvement in vietnam then explosively at the beginning of may the war which we thought was winding down was extended into cambodia soon after national guard troops fired on students at kent state that was a shock we feared the war might escalate into world war three coming home from work one night that week i emerged from the subway at 110th and broadway to find someone selling tickets for a round-trip bus ride to washington dc the following saturday for a rally the tickets were obviously subsidized since they cost only five dollars round-trip so i bought four for my wife and me and our two children eight and ten i thought it might be a good learning experience for the children come saturday we were up before dawn for the long ride to washington sure enough there were the buses lined up on 110th street just east of broadway oddly the buses had driven down through the night from montreal to take us on south the trip began routinely enough but about halfway we got our first idea of where the subsidies had come from as we passed philadelphia someone took the bus microphone to begin to tell us about how trotsky was a true communist this was not what folks had signed up for so there was much grumbling the trotsky connection was then and still is beyond my knowledge or understanding someone murmured that the bus had been financed by chinese communists i never did get the full story i began to feel uncomfortable and questioned whether it had been a good idea to have grabbed that bargain though we were in good company surrounded by our neighbors the whole thing reached a crescendo when the guy with the mic said that they weren't going to the events on the ellipse by the white house instead they were going to demonstrate on the steps of the state department and they had brought sheep's blood with them to cover everyone that wasn't part of our plan and we weren't going to do that the bus parked at the tidal basin the cherry blossoms were beautiful we went to the mall where speeches of one sort or another droned on despite the potential for drama the day was rather dull until later in the afternoon when protesters began to take off their clothes and walk around nude in the lincoln memorial reflecting pool i'm sure that was educational for our kids a rumor circulated that early in the morning a sleepless president nixon had walked to the lincoln memorial from the white house to talk with demonstrators in camp there that gave hope and the mood of the crowd turned positive the festive spirit changed dramatically though as the hour approached for us to return to our bus suddenly the streets were filled with army trucks converging on the crowd we feared that things might turn violent we thought of kent state just one week earlier we had our children with us so we started leaving the area standing at a crosswalk waiting for the light to change army truck after army truck passed in front of us we saw troops with weapons in the backs of those trucks but they weren't brandishing them instead the troops were giving the demonstrators the peace sign the army was comprised of citizen draftees they were with us we were safe [Music] [Music] you

More Information

A 85 year old veteran has lived a long life. He says his life qualifies as a kind of history, and there are three historic events that happened in his life that have affected him personally. The first being the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was on a Sunday when I was five (5) years old. My dad was reading the newspaper and listening to a concert on the radio while I was watching the flames dance in the fireplace. The concert was interrupted with the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and I can still remember my dad’s face after hearing the news. The second was taking a day off of school when I was eight (8) years old and my dad taking me into the city to watch President Eisenhower’s parade. Since dads’ office was on the parade route, he had decided that we would climb the office building and watch from the roof. That is what my dad was expecting would happen. Instead of that, as the parade was approaching my dad’s office building a man scooped me up and placed me on his shoulders. Lastly, in anticipation that WW2 was over in May of 1970 when I was 33 (Thirty-three) years old. The hope was that WW2 was over however, it was actually spilling into Cambodia. We felt that it could accelerate into a WW3. So much history that an 85-year-old has experienced, can be passed on to his children and eventually his grandchildren.
#rcozus #shareyourstory #story #joinrcozus #joinourcause #hope #connect #family #life #post #project #photo #veterans #military #honor #heros

What an Expert Says


Like this story? Share your own.

Share your story to inspire, empower and help others with their own mental health journey.

Related Topics

Support Mental Health​

Support our work to normalize conversations around mental health – donate today.