Wartime Christmas

I will begin this, my second blog on Christmas, on December 7th, because I believe that date shaped our Christmas for that is the day Japanese airships bombed and killed many American Navy men and women. At our house my sister and I were in bed with the flu so we missed going to church with my Grandpa and aunt on the day they were driving back to their home in Tacoma, Washington. They left right after church after visiting over a week with our family. It was also my little sister’s birthday.

When Mama and Daddy came home they first came upstairs to see if we were okay and then grabbed a cup of coffee and turned on the radio. They were planning to relax before leaving for another service at one of the country churches he pastored. I heard commotion coming from downstairs so I jumped out of bed to find out what was the matter. Daddy was saying, “We shouldn’t have let them go. Tacoma is right near Fort Lewis and they could be bombed at any time!” He was talking about his father and sister.

Mama was trying to comfort him saying, “They won’t get there today you know. They would have heard the news and knew how to take care of themselves.” But soon they quieted down and headed out the door to go to the next church.

I was upset though. I sat beside the radio listening to every commentator. Everyone seemed upset. Later on, we heard encouraging words as President Roosevelt talked to us. We were now at war! We would do what we could to help others. My mind remembers making bandages and cookies for the men who were now soldiers. Oh we celebrated the birthday of our Lord but it was somber. Our time was made by helping the mothers whose husbands had gone to war. We had prayer every day at school and I think that was the year I learned to really love the Christmas carols. We sang them at home, church and school.

I believe  that is why we were called “The Greatest Generation.” We were called that because we prayed and the soldiers knew it, we helped our neighbor, especially those mothers who’s husbands were now fighting for America and we bought War Bonds. I wish we were more like that today.

Oh yes, I remember the bells calling us to prayer, and air raid tests, sitting in the dark until the test was over. I wonder. would we help others today? We seem to be a gimme, gimme group of Americans now, don’t we?

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