Remembrance Day 2016

Respect, kindness, love

Respect, kindness, love

I have been traveling immediately after the recent election so have been blissfully unaware of the fall out. I do feel fear because loose talk is dangerous in this volatile world. Diplomacy is so underrated and yet probably saves hundreds of thousands of lives. Sometimes on this day, I remember an ancestor who fought in wars. My great great grandfather was a Civil War medic on the Confederate side – I can only imagine how awful his job was. My father in law spent the whole war in a prisoner of war camp in eastern Germany.

This week we need to focus on the future and being optimistic. We were living in Cairo when the second Gulf War broke out. I had a lovely neighbor, an elderly Egyptian man who walked to the mosque in his pajamas every day. He always greeted me warmly in Arabic which I returned with a smile. A couple of days after the war broke out with dire warnings about weapons of mass destruction (‘loose talk’?) and Koranic music came blasting out of the old man’s house, directly across from ours. I was outraged that this nice old man could be mean to the westerners in the street – especially ME!

After a day of tears and indignation, I realized that the old man had died and this was normal for an Egyptian wake/funeral. Gosh, I felt bad and stupid, in my deplorable basket villa…🏡 I lit some candles in Tulsa, Oklahoma this week and one of them was for him and all the fallen. My father in law was a Pacifist despite his experience and never hated the German people. He probably even forgave his captors as he was a religious man.

Let’s hope and pray that our military are used for defense and not for an unnecessary war. Having said that, I wish that NATO would help Syria and Iraq. Those poor people did not deserve this. I received great kindness and respect in the Muslim world, from North Africa to the Middle East and the Far East. If I can live in a third world country in the middle of an unnecessary war, then I am sure that we can all move forward in the spirit of forgiveness and peace.☮🗽☪

Patriot’s Point, Charleston, SC

USS Clagamore

USS Clagamore

Happy Memorial Day and thank you to our military for their service. This military and naval museum is home to three ships, the USS Yorktown, a naval aircraft carrier commissioned in 1943, USS Laffey, a destroyer known as ‘the ship that would not die’ and USS Clamagore, a submarine and is the only surviving GUPPY type submarine.

I was fascinated by the whole museum especially watching the helicopters take off from the Yorktown from the vantage point of the Water Taxi. There was dread in my heart as I gazed at the ancient submarine and wondered how anyone could cope with the claustrophobic conditions. I guess when you are fighting at war you just get on with it. When young, I considered joining the Navy (what fear of deep water?) but I think my strength would be in spy craft. My skills lie in noticing every detail (great at an airport), excellent communication skills and a little bit of fairy glamor.

USS Gaffney

USS Laffey

I used to be reasonably fluent in Arabic and a fellow volunteer suggested that I work for the CIA. Since my language skills stopped at ordering a kilo of bananas (mooz) or berating taxi drivers, I think I would be under-qualified. I was going to suggest that my mental illness might be an issue but look at Crazy Carrie in Homeland and Sir Winston Churchill whose black dog (depression) tortured him? I have no fear of dangerous countries so that’s a plus!

Recently, I tried to search military records for my ancestors. My UK ancestors were mostly farmers so would have been exempt from fighting. I found my paternal grandfather’s World War I draft card but no evidence that he served in that war. His brother, my great uncle Earl, fought with distinction in the battle of Managua. My father (or Pinocchio) told my mum that he had flown in WWII but there is no evidence of this, other than in his head. I inherited my fairy glamor from him but he used it for evil not good. 🙂

USS Yorktown

USS Yorktown

Every year I think about the young men and women who have fought in deplorable conditions for wars that seem meaningless. I have met them in a psychiatric hospital and often at the airport. Thank you for serving your country and trying to keep us safe.

Memorial Day

nessie and bob engagement 001
This is my lovely mum and dad in law on the night they became engaged, back in the 1940s. My dad in law was drafted into the World War II from Scotland, was captured almost immediately by the Germans and transported to a Prisoner of War camp in East Germany. As a prisoner he worked there for 5 years in a salt mine but was fortunate  return home alive. He had nightmares for many years and wouldn’t talk about his experience until later in life. Memorial Day allows us to remember all those brave men and women who fought for us. I recently found out that my great uncle Earl Dellinger was not a sad bachelor who lived with his parents but served as a Marine who fought in the Battle of Managua, Nicaragua in the early part of the 20th century. Then there was my great-great-grandfather who was a medic for the Confederate Army during the Civil War…. Can you imagine how awful that was?
Thank you, dear Ancestors.