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More Stories - The Way We Were

The War

"Dear Bess,

I find it difficult to watch the terrible tragedy of the war being waged in Iraq, seeing all those young men and women fighting to free a country that has been so suppressed for many years.

The terrible conditions they are being subjected to both by the enemy and the horrible sandstorms and yet they keep going....  May God watch over them.  This brings back the memories of a much different war which I experienced in WW2.

Hilda Graham"

I remember a war which started September 3rd, 1939.  I was 13 yrs of age.  I remember a lot of things about that war, air raid sirens, blackouts, rationing, carrying gas masks, bombing, evacuees, fearing invasion.  Being shot at while riding a bicycle with my friend at the age of 14, jumping in a ditch so we would miss the bullets from a German fighter plane, this about noon time on a bright summer day.  I remember the terrible Dunkirk Ordeal, soldiers pushed to the ocean, men in small fishing boats trying to help them, all the time they were being shot at by the German planes; they were like sitting ducks.  Our neighbors lost a son in that battle and I remember the terrible grief it brought to his loving family.

Winston Churchill's speech telling us to fight with all our might and with any weapon we could find.  I remember my father, a gentle man who had fought in WW1, saying he would rather see his family dead than have us live under Nazi rule and he meant it; this was so unlike anything we had ever heard him say.

I do not know how we managed to survive, so many of our large cities being bombed night and day.  Every able bodied person had to work, as so many of our men and woman had to join the forces, but we did it.  Then between 1942 and 1943 our allies came and we thank God they did, for this was a battle we would have lost without them.  Soon we had American air bases all around where I lived, I believe 8 in all within a radius of about 15 miles, mostly B17 bomber groups. 

How our lives had changed.  Planes going on missions, young men far away from home but they were truly welcomed, and eventually we learned about their culture and they ours.  There are so many more things I could write about but it is in the past.

One wonderful memory is meeting my husband, a young GI, and have now been married almost 59 years and I would not trade a day of our lives together.  This is the only really good thing about WW2 for me, for I would never have met my one and only true love if it had not occurred.

Oh yes, one other thing.  I never remembered the words "collateral damage" being used as our country was being bombarded by our enemy.

The Sneaky Kitchen
Web Site by Bess W. Metcalf   Copyrightę April 1999 - 201

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