War Bonds

The Small World of Writing and War Bonds

So there I am minding my own business at 8:15 AM, waiting in a long line for coffee in the hotel lanai in Honolulu when I hear a voice.

“Hello there, honey!”

I turn to see a little lady in a Hawaiian print shirt.

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It’s Myrt Powers from  chapter 30 of War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation!

Myrtt and her husband, Walt live in Cheney, WA. but have wintered on Oahu for 30 years. Turns out Walt swims at the hotel pool every morning at 8 AM. Keep in mind the Powers will celebrate their 70th anniversary in December!

It was wonderful to catch up with Myrt so far from home.

The next day I toured the Army Museum at nearby Fort DeRussy. This sign caught my eye.

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War Bonds and Love Stories– both are with me everywhere 😉

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War Bonds

Making Pearl Harbor Personal

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I knew I was in trouble when I read the sign for Ford Island and starting crying.After many years of interviewing and writing about Pearl Harbor Survivors I was for the first time,  walking where they walked.

My husband and I were celebrating our 30th anniversary on Oahu and Pearl Harbor was one of our first stops.

Chapter 11 of War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation tells the story of Warren and Betty Schott who lived on Ford Island and both survived the horrific attack.

I pictured Warren’s desperate drive to get his wife to safety. They’d spoken of shrapnel falling from the skies– of the road shredded by machine gun fire– of the terror and the noise.

We watched a short film featuring actual footage of the attack. A scene of sailors and soldiers pulling the wounded and dead from the Harbor made me gasp. That’s what Warren had done in the aftermath– it was the one thing he didn’t want to discuss with me over the course of many interviews. It was the only thing he refused to speak of with his wife and best friend of 76 years.

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As we boarded the boat that took us to the USS Arizona, I thought of Pearl Harbor Survivor Ray Daves, who died in 2011. His friend George Maybee perished aboard the Arizona. His remains are entombed in the waters below the memorial. The throng of tourists quieted. The only sound was the snapping of the flag in the wind as I found Maybee’s name among the more than 1,000 names engraved. I wished I could tell Ray.

All of the stories, all of the interviews over the years in no way prepared me for the magnitude, the solemness of this sacred place.

Remember Pearl Harbor. Indeed, I will never forget this place, these people, their sacrifice.

Here are links some of the stories I’ve written about those who survived the Day That Will Live in Infamy.

World War ll Vets Remember

World War ll Vets Educate Students

A Sailor Remembers

Fond Memories of Ray Daves Endure

Survivors of 1941 Attack Bring History to Life

Grateful for Vet’s Story

Pearl Harbor Survivors Mark 73rd Anniversary in Spokane

The World has Lost Yet Another WWll Hero

Pearl Harbor Survivor’s Story Comes to an End

Pearl Harbor Witness: ‘It was so scary!’

 

 

War Bonds

Rest in peace Harvey Shaw

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Harvey Shaw at the wheel of the USS Kwajalein, 1944

Just received word that this handsome sailor died October 7. Harvey Shaw was a kind and gentle man who dropped out of high school during WWII and enlisted in the US Navey because he liked to swim!

He was proud to have served his country, but even prouder of his 64-year marriage to his wife, Bonnie and of their six children.

Rest in peace, Harvey. Thank you for your service and for sharing your story with me.