Monday, December 7, 2015

Trying to do things right

                                                                                                  U.S. Navy photograph
The hull of the battleship USS Arizona, sunk by Japanese Imperial Navy aircraft on December 7, 1941, is clearly visible beneath the blue waters of Pearl Harbor at Honolulu, Hawaii. Above the vessel is a memorial structure/shrine constructed to honor those who died there. Nearly twelve hundred Sailors and Marines were killed aboard the vessel, most in a single, massive explosion, and more than eleven hundred remain entombed within it. More than twenty-four hundred Americans were killed in total. The ship actually is an active military cemetery, and the ashes of survivors of the attack still are scattered there or placed in urns within the sunken hull upon their death.

Time & distance

Part of my boyhood was spent standing in the background hidden in shadows watching men play poker and pinochle and variations of euchre .... watching them drink beer, sometimes with shots of whiskey -- boilermakers, in their parlance .... watching them smoke cigarettes and cigars until the air around them was blue .... and, at times, listening to them talk about when they were young and had been to places they never had heard of before war took them there. Some of them had physical scars; all of them had emotional scars.

The ages of these men varied, as did the wars in which they had fought. Some even had fought in the "War to End All Wars," including one who was the final survivor of an American Legion "Last Man's Club." The bottle of wine which came to him for that distinction was never opened, and is now in my possession, never to be opened, at least during my lifetime. That is another story.

A few of the men had been in and out of the Hawaiian Islands. One of them had been there on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese Imperial Navy struck from the sky in a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and other United States military installations. He survived the attack and the war. It was evident that he always felt guilty for doing so. He more or less drank himself to death to atone for his war-luck.

When December 7 arrives each year, thoughts of those men and their card games and their drinks and their stories drift back into my mind. Someday, I would like to be at Pearl Harbor when the anniversary of the attack comes around and, especially because of the survivor I knew, to be at the memorial for his ship, the battleship USS Arizona, shown in the photograph.
Not so this year. Another anniversary passes and I am not there, but someday I hope to be so the spirit of the survivor I knew and the ghosts of all of them who died there that day might know that some of us still remember them and think of them. We cannot make the world right, but we can make ourselves right with the world ....


20 comments:

ANITA said...

Thats is a good post !!Remembering Pearl Harbour and all those men killed!

I hope you can go there once in your life.

Love the music tooFram..Just great !

Fram Actual said...

There she is .... thank you, Anita.

Some years I mention the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in a post; some years I do not. But, whether I write about it or not there never is a year which passes when I do not think of it. Pearl Harbor was a seminal event in the lives of the generations of my parents and grandparents, and the first day of an era which reshaped the history of the world. Some people equate the 2001 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City with Pearl Harbor, but as things now stand, that event was a historical pinprick when viewed next to Pearl Harbor.

I have used music from the 1952 "Victory at Sea" television series once or twice in past posts, as well. I am glad you like it. This song, "Beneath the Southern Cross," by Richard Rodgers, is particularly beautiful, I think. Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein adopted it under the name, "No Other Love," for their Broadway musical, "Me and Juliet," the next year.

By the way, I am "on the road" again tomorrow and will not be home until Saturday or Sunday.

Thank you, Anita, for coming here and for your comment.

Steve Finnell said...

THE AUTHORITY OF GOD? BY STEVE FINNELL

Where is God's authority recorded? Most denominations who use creed books AKA denominational church catechisms, use those creed books as the final authority for faith and practice.

The question is, if church creed books are used as the authoritative book, why read the Bible? The ironic thing about churches who use creed books is, they try to use the Bible to support their denominational creeds.

If creed books are used as the rules for faith and practice, then referencing the Bible rings hollow.

There is not one denomination that has written one verse of the Bible. Denominations write creed books. God does not write creed books.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Jesus did not say if anyone loves Me, he will keep the words of the church catechism.

1 John 1:4-6 .....as we received command from the Father......6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment , that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

We are told to walk according to the commandments of God. There is no commandment that says to walk according to church creed books nor new books of revelation written by men.

If your church catechism AKA creed book, or your so-call book of new revelation contradicts doctrine that is found in the Bible, then one of two things is true. 1. The Bible is in error and therefore cannot be trusted for faith and practice. 2. Your creed book or book of new revelation is in error and cannot be trusted as God's message to mankind.

YOU CAN USE THE BIBLE AS GOD'S AUTHORITY OR YOU CAN USE MAN-MADE EXTRA-BIBLICAL SOURCES.
YOU CANNOT USE BOTH!

(Scripture from; NKJV)

YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG, http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

A Cuban In London said...

Strange to comment after "God's messenger". Your opening paragraph after "Time and Distance" is a beauty to read. I felt as if I was there with you as a child myself. Your post has triggered off similar memories. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

Ordinarily, Steve, I would have handled your comment like I treat any form of advertising. I would have deleted it. But, for a couple of reasons, I will leave it in place .... primarily because it is ironic that it should appear immediately before CiL's comment. You would have to be knowledgeable about his position and my position regarding our religious perspectives to appreciate the humor there.

Frankly, I love to discuss / argue / debate religion and would welcome you to present your own feelings / thoughts / beliefs. But, what you have here is akin to a sermon professing particular ideas as facts when they are, in reality, your opinions. Use your own words to present your own concepts and you will find a more receptive audience in me.

Personally, I consider all religion to be man-made and, therefore, to be a cocktail of ritual and conjecture.

Fram Actual said...

I probably would have deleted the "messenger" comment had you not put in an appearance, CiL. Having it where it is and having you following it is simply too good / too rare / too ironic a coincidence to throw away. Then, too, who can say? Perhaps, this was "ordained" to occur. Perhaps, it is a "sign" of what is to come. Perhaps, I should stop teasing before I am cast out to wander in the wilderness without my Benedictine.

Seriously, I enjoy religious debate and discussion, but my nature is too rebellious to appreciate sermons.

Back on topic: Growing up in small town, mid-America in the wake of a century of wars and in the midst of inadvertent, accidental warriors was a fascinating experience and one I am glad was mine. I think it is clear from this post and others before it that I am beyond fascinated and even fixated on human psychology, which is one reason I like to remain in the shadows observing human interaction. American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars "establishments" have been one of my favorite haunts since I first saw the inside of them as a boy. I even have been an on-again / off-again member of them to gain greater insight.

Thank you, for the compliment about the writing, and I am glad the tale stirred memories of your own boyhood. In that sense, this post served a purpose beyond what I had intended or imagined when I wrote it.

And, as always, thank you, CiL, for coming and for taking the time to write a comment.

ANITA said...

Goodmorning Fram and happy saturday.What are you doing?Before you always was here..now..hiking around,Something to do about the Christmas coming up?

Here back in my old town..Its very cold again(But it cant compare to your Minnesota weather(Iam reading history books about the emigrants from norway germany holland which went to America,Roselyn,Webster South Dakota)

I am working very hard.Never had soo many things to do in December,And it will not end in the year 2016.But the money is good then.

What do you think of the statement to Donald Trump??Here we are all very quiet.

Hope you will have a fine weekend dear Fram.All good things to you!

Anita

A Cuban In London said...

Now, you are the one cracking me up. You're right. Sometimes it's better to leave this sort of message and trust your readers. :-)

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

It is evening for me, Anita, so I will say, good evening .... and, since it is Sunday for you, Happy Sunday.

My absence for a few days during Thanksgiving weekend was for a family gathering, but the last two jaunts (and the next two) could be described as having to do with business matters. No fun and games for me at the moment. I am home now, but I will be gone again for two or three days each of the next two weekends. I might be gone still again when the new year arrives, but of that I am uncertain yet.

The weather here has been relatively mild. In fact, on Wednesday I drove a couple of hundred miles in a severe thunderstorm. Had the rain been snow, it would have been an impassible, white-out blizzard, with thirty- to forty-mile-per-hour winds driving the rain.

Yes, I am familiar with those South Dakota towns. I could get in my car and be among them in about five hours. Should you ever come to Minnesota or the Dakotas or Wisconsin or Iowa, you would be in the midst of people whose ancestry is Scandinavian and otherwise Northern European.

If you are referring to Donald Trump's comment about Muslims, I guess I have so many thoughts that I cannot respond in a sentence or two or three .... so, I will say nothing about it at the moment. In terms of Donald Trump in general, although I would not vote for him I think he would be a definite improvement over Barack Obama in terms of the well being of the United States and the world.

Remember, all work and no play might make Jack a dull boy, but it makes Anita money, money, money to spend on summer fun in the sun. I am glad things are going well for you.

Thank you, Anita. I enjoy your visits and I appreciate your comments. I hope your weekend will be fine, as well, and that life is being good to you in all regards. See you around ....

Fram Actual said...

There are times when I think I attract religious zealots and other times when I think I frighten them away. Discussion, debate and argument make the world go round, CiL, especially when the topic is religiously oriented, but someone preaching a sermon would have better luck talking to the wind than to me.

Then, too, for me talking about religion and talking about a "creator" are talking about possibly related but separate subjects. Life is a mystery.

Thank you, CiL, for your visit and your comment.

ANITA said...

Ohh boy am I late for updating my blog this christmas!

hope all is weelmwith you!!

Iam having great amusment reading those old books living on the praire 1800!(edvard Hoem)Shall udate my blog right before the holdays..hope you do so too

Happy day my friend!

Fram Actual said...

Yes, we both have been sort of slow to post recently, Anita. I think I will be very slow this month -- even beyond this month, maybe. I have too many things on my mind which are distracting me and my mood also is in a realm which is not conductive for writing my thoughts.

My current reading material is set in the past, too, but not as far back in time as your own. "Hemingway in Love," by A.E. Hotchner, rekindled my interest in Hemingway. Being unable to find my copy of Hemingway's own memoir, "A Moveable Feast," I ordered another and began reading it, along with a couple of his novels which I have not picked up for a couple of decades. I also have a recently published novel about F. Scott Fitzgerald on its way to me in the mail. It is, "West of Sunset," by Stewart O'Nan. I guess I am in a 1920s Paris mood and a 1930s Hollywood frame of mind.

All is well for me and with me, I guess, and I hope it is for you, as well.

I will be leaving home Friday afternoon again, and back home late on Sunday .... far too much running around for me lately.

So, see you later, Anita, and have a fine weekend. Thank you, for your presence.

ANITA said...

Its your turn now cowboy..

Boris Estebitan said...

Fue un triste día para el mundo, todo lo acontecido y lo que se dio despues.

Fram Actual said...

We shall see, Anita .... we shall see.

My mood is too sketchy and my mind too scattered to focus on the blogs. And, on Sunday I will be leaving home again for a few days. My attention is centered on these weekly jaunts.

Anyway .... thank you, Anita, for your appearance here once again.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, truly a sad day, Boris. It is estimated over sixty million people were killed during World War II. That was the cost to slow the spread of evil in the world. But, unfortunately, the war did only slow it, not entirely curtail it.

Thank you, Boris. I am happy to see you here once again.

ANITA said...

What are you up to and what is torturing your mind?

Come for a New years post then:)))

all good to you from your friend in Norway!

Fram Actual said...

Well, I would not describe my mind as tortured, Anita. Fully and constantly occupied at the moment would be more appropriate, I think, so much so that I do not wish to devote much time to the sea of blogs. In effect, it is just me being me. And, I always am moody at this time of the year.

As to what I have been up to, I guess that is nothing I wish to discuss in this setting. It involves work, though, which takes me here and there for a few days now and then. How is that for being mysterious and illusive ??

Sooner or later I will feel a desire to produce another post. Maybe sooner, maybe later. Time will tell ....

Yes, everything good to you and for you, too. Anita. Thank you, for being here ....

ANITA said...

♥♥♥

i wish you a merry Christmas with alot of joy♥♥♥

here we are locked in because of the christmas storm

Ok,Take care!and dont you work too much!

♥♥♥

Anita

Fram Actual said...

Thank you, Anita ....

You have my wish that your Christmas will be happy and carefree and memorable .... maybe, the storm will make it even more memorable.

This is the second Christmas in a row without snow for me, which makes it memorable .... sort of ....

No, I will not work too hard and I always take care .... well, usually take care .... see you just around the corner .... sort of ....

Something special ....