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We do not grieve sufficiently

(In response to a blog post, wherein the author remarked that World War II was many years before he was born, and seemed lost in the far distant past.)

Yes, the “war” was over 70 years ago. For me, the “war” started about a year and a half after I was born, when the bombs fell on Pearl Harbor and the nation was plunged into Hell. As a young boy, I knew the widows, the younger brothers and sisters, and grieving fathers and mothers of the boys older than I who left and never returned.

My own stepfather returned from the Aleutian Islands with lungs scarred by frostbite and a bitter attitude. Among his papers was a transcript of a young Japanese officer’s diary that I found one day. The memory of what I read in that diary haunts me; I was a teen when I read it. The notion of the “good guys” putting down the “bad guys” died in my mind that day. The young officer missed his wife, his children, his home, and the life he’d been forced to leave behind. He and his entire command died on those frozen wastes. My stepfather came home; somewhere in Japan a young widow and her children waited. If they still lived.

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