Monday, November 29, 2010

Adventures with Dad!

My Dad is 89 years old and lives with my husband and me. He's adorable. He also has dementia from some mini-strokes. His short term memory is shot. But one thing he had been clear about for well over a year was his desire to go to the National Marine Corps Museum in Triangle, VA and the National WW II Memorial in D.C. Finally, on November 1, my brother Lee, his wife Mary, and I were able to make that dream come true for Dad.

It took us a whole day to get there from Connecticut, and the journey left Dad a bit disoriented and tired, but after a good night's sleep he was no worse for the wear, so off we went to the Museum. See, Dad was a Marine during WW II. Actually, it seems that it is true that "Once a Marine, always a Marine" because Dad has maintained the Marine crew cut and disciple all these years! I would say that the two things that impacted my father's life the most are his faith in God and his time in the Marines. He later wrote a book about his adventures:

We didn't really know what to expect at the Museum, except that we knew there would be a lot of Marine history. Wow, was there ever! The place is huge and the exhibits take you from 1775 through the Vietnam War days. We ended up being there for 7 hours!

The Museum's soaring design is meant to evoke the image of the flag raisers of Iwo Jima.

In the WW II section, Dad saw many of the weapons that he once used.

On the way home we stopped at the WW II Memorial. We were all seeing it for the first time and were quite impressed. It was a very well-planned and thoughtful tribute. This shot was taken at the entrance to the memorial.

There were some incredible brass reliefs along the entry way that depicted U.S. involvement in the war. They were each about 4' by 1.5'. The first was one that showed Americans receiving word of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, then it showed people enlisting, various armed forces, battles, people back in the States doing their part, and finally the people returning home and to their loved ones. I took a bazillion pictures but they are too much to post here. However, here is one of the news of Pearl Harbor. I wish the picture could do it better justice.

I hope that all who read this will have the opportunity to see this amazing memorial

This was an amazing adventure for my Dad, and we were all so happy to be able to do this with him and help make his dream come true.

I often wonder what our world would be like today if the young men and women of that generation didn't step up to the plate and give of themselves so willingly. Someone made a comment to my Dad about his being the "Greatest Generation". My Dad didn't agree. He felt that they might instead have been the "Most Challenged Generation." He believes in his heart that the youngest generation today would do the same if faced with the same circumstances.

To all our WW II vets, I offer a big THANKS for the freedom we enjoy in this country today!

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