Day of Memories

I can only remember so far back…

pearl-harborAnd then before that first memory I rely on history books, news reports and others telling me what I never experienced. First hand reports are few and far between as I age. Those that could tell me far back into the past century are slowing passing on. I get what I can, from where I can, and then paint in the edges of the story with my mind.

That’s about all I can do. There is no time travel. This is one reason why I enjoy Historical Fiction – someone else paints the story and I simply get to enjoy from their research and imagination. James Alexander Thom is by far my favorite.

About 20 years ago the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall came through my neck of the woods when living in Texas. It was later in the evening that I finally stopped and wandered through those dark granite walls with the names of over 58,000 killed or missing in action. Dark. Muggy. Strategically placed spotlights. It was quiet and somber. I remember some weeping, and others stood solemnly. Thinking. Remember. Honoring.

This was the war of my age bracket. I remember former students coming back to class in Channelview and sharing their experiences, but I have no memory of a personal friend or family member never coming back. I was coming of age close to the ending of the war, and I knew I would join up if my draft number was ever called.

The draft ended just 2 weeks past my 18th birthday.

During the past 25 years I have been to the Pearl Harbor memorial a single time. There is someone named Gurley listed above the USS Arizona. I do not know them, and they may or may not be related. It’s so hard to tell. But I do have an uncle who was in the hills above Pearl on the day of infamy. He passed 5 years ago, just 2 days before the 70th anniversary of December 7th, 1941.

Memorials are for memories, lest we forget. Creating a memorial goes back thousands of years and I have read of them often in scripture and history. Instead of a memorial, I want to leave a legacy that heralds the future. We build the future on how we view the past, and the past is what I’m focusing on this month. But… prepare for the future so that future generations are better off with what you do today.

On this day in history, December 7th…

  • 1431 – Henry VI of England was crowned King of France in Paris.
  • 1775 – John Paul Jones received a commission as a first lieutenant in the Continental Navy.
  • 1787 – In Dover, Delaware, the U.S. Constitution is unanimously ratified by all 30 delegates to the Delaware Constitutional Convention, making Delaware the first state of the modern United States.
  • 1805 – Lewis and Clark temporarily settle in Fort Clatsop (One of my favorite studies!) near what is present day Portland, Oregon.
  • 1926 – The gas operated refrigerator was patented by The Electrolux Servel Corporation.
  • 1941 – Day of Infamy
  • 1941 – Texas native Doris Miller manned an unattended deck gun on the USS West Virginia. He later received the Navy Cross for bravery in battle for this actions. (Just one story of bravery from this date)
  • 1963 – The Singing Nun reaches the top spot on the US Pop charts with “Dominique”
  • 1972Apollo 17 was launched at Cape Canaveral. It was the last U.S. moon mission.
  • 1979 – Sara Beth Bareilles was born (one of my new found favorites)
  • 1982 – Charlie Brooks Junior, a convicted murderer, became the first prisoner in the U.S. to be executed by injection, at a prison in Huntsville, TX.

Since I’ve been on Facebook for over 8 years, my history shows I posted these thoughts.

Finally…. a few “12/7” scriptures:

Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. (Genesis 12:7 NKJV)

The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand. (Proverbs 12:7 NKJV)

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Luke 12:7 NKJV)