Posted tagged ‘Kamikazi’

AN “ORDINARY FAMILY” SALUTE ON MEMORIAL DAY

May 29, 2017

Memorial Day is for honoring those who lost their lives as they defended our country.     But in addition,  I’m thinking about all those who served in the military and  risked their lives,   willing to die for us.  

Flag don't tread

I thought I had always faithfully acknowledged Memorial Day here at the Spruce Tunnel throughout the years,  but a quick check of the archives shows me that I missed a few.

(In fact,  one end-of-May entry recorded my  incursion into dinosaur territory where, after wandering around, lost for a few hours in the Utah/Colorado desert I finally came out  feeling like an idiot but happy to be alive and uninjured  That was 2013.   I guess I wasn’t thinking of Memorial Day at the time.)

I’ll try to make a thorough list this time.    (We have a small family.)

My Grandpa, one of the crew of the USS Utah, serving in World War One.

SAMSUNG

The USS Utah,  dashing through the Atlantic –   (I must have inherited some of his experience;  I love to be on the prow of a big sailboat, plunging through the waves (on the Great Lakes.)

SAMSUNG

Grandpa was under threat  by German U-Boats, but he did come home.  The USS Utah sailed to Pearl Harbor where she bravely did duty – as target practice, until in 1941, the Japanese finished her off —

Utah down

My uncle was stationed there in Pearl Harbor in the ’40s, an MP in the Marines.   I wonder if he watched or thought of his own father’s ship being blown up.   Would like to have a photo of him . . . .

My own Dad,   Marine Corps –   18 years old.

MARINE

Hubbie’s family contributed their loved ones too.    Two sons from one family.   Finnish family.

First, Aaro Ikkala.    Sailor, serving on board the USS Aulick,  which has the distinction of being the first plane ever attacked by a kamikazi pilot.    Not everyone on board died.   Aaro did.    We have his Purple Heart.

In the days when the Internet was new and its usefulness was exciting,  Hubbie put together a wonderful tribute to the men on the USS Auulick,  even contacting some of those who had served with Uncle Aaro and remembered him.

Hubbie also put together this “genuine” replica of the Aulick which had been attacked in Leyte Gulf, Philippines:

USS Aulick

I wonder what went through Hubbie’s mind as he glued together all the tiny little pieces  . . .   We actually have the official navy report – of the gruesome details.

Hubbie lost another uncle in the next war,  the Korean war; his name was Arthur,  brother of Aaro.

Arthur Ikkala's Newspaper Article

I got quite a weird feeling in me today as I went through these old papers.   “Col. Ikkala”  looks very, very much like Hubbie at that age.

Next, for us, came the Viet Nam war –

My cousin.    Army.      It was a different kind of war:

Drew

This is a later picture, still in uniform.    Still “Proud to be an American . . .  ”

Drew in Uniform

He’s “family.”     I look at him and see my Grandma’s face.

And then Hubbie has two nephews,  West Point grads,  served in Desert Storm and whatever the next military endeavor was.   Flew  Apaches.

Apache

I’ll update with photos when I wake up my old, old computer which has their photos.  One of them patrolled around Babylon –  yes, the desert fortress city of Nebuchadnezzar  and his wannabe descendant Saddam Hussein who was in the process of restoring glorious palaces in Babylon.

We’re an ordinary family, some of whom left factories and mines and farms  (and high school) to defend our country –– to defend their families and our American way of Life. When they were done,  they returned to their factories, mines, and farms . . . .

Mem salute

Thank you, guys.

Trump Honors

America remembers.    Americans still honor all of you.

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