08 December 2005

The Day After.

I am always proud to be my father's child. But never more than on the 8th of December.

A rather famous picture of a blocks spanning line of American men exists; one of those men is my dad. A young 20 year old college student standing on line to join the infantry.

Thank-you Pop. I miss you so very much. You gave me so much, and the greatest gift you gave me was a sense of honour. You did it at the expense of your education, your future. For me, for Fox, for countless immigrants, grateful or not.

I understand now what Roosevelt did then-that we had to try to stay out of it all for as long as possible, to avoid the inevitable.

It took the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor to bring the Yanks into it, and all of struggling Europe was contemptuous of the US for the vain attempt to stay out of it.

Hell, being who I was in that life time, I shared some of the anger, if not the contempt, and was incapable of seeing past the end of my nose. And when my husband was killed D+2, I was secretly sure if the Yanks had got off the stump sooner, Johnny might have made it home.

Maybe that's why in this lifetime I was raised in America. Maybe there is something to that modern, nearly completely mistaken definition of karma. I certainly have learned a thing or three as a consequence of my parent's divorce and my subsequent maternal abandonment to my father.

But through it all, I have been completely un-ashamed to be my father's child.

And never more than on the 8th of December.

I asked a man who was at Anzio, "How did you get through it?" His answer, so profound, so succinct-"I did it for you and your son."

See, he didn't know me, or Fox then, those three bitter months pinned on the muddy, cold, and fatal beach. He didn't even know his own son, much less anyone else'.

But, for me, for Fox, for all of us who carry that blue passport, he signed up on the 8th of December, too.

The Day After is the day that counts.

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