Early morning--Phoenix, Arizona--kids on the street
where I live, waiting for the school bus to come pick
them up for school. This neighborhood is about fifty
years old--the last generation of kids including my
grandsons have grown and moved on--a new
generation of children now--life goes on. I went out and
placed the flag in the hanger on my house--there was no
breeze--it just hung open, not moving. One of the children--
there were about seven boys and girls--a boy called out
and asked what today was--what the flag was for. They
were all waiting right at the end of my drive--so I walked over
to them. "Today is Pearl Harbor Day", I explained
"it's a day for older folks like us to remember
because it was the start of a horrible war for
our country--don't you know about it from your
school"?There seemed to be a simultanious shaking of
heads--one girl piped up that her Dad and Mom had gone to
Pearl Harbor for their second honeymoon--one boy
turned and scornfully remarked "WHO CARES CINDY", and turned
back to me as if questing for more information. I had
plenty of time--hey, I had a captive audience. I went on
to explain that the Japanese attacked the U.S. Navy
Pacific Fleet on this date in 1941 at Pearl Harbor--the USS
Arizona had been sunk with the heavy loss of life--that
here in Arizona that date meant more maybe than other
places--and that I had only been eight years old but how
well I remembered it for many of the older boys from
my Iowa school went into the service before
Christmas--many never to return--killed in the service of their
country--so very respectfully they listened--eyes like
dinner plates--mouths agape--I suggested they tune
into televisions HISTORY CHANNEL if it wasn't
taught about those events in their schools. "What happened",
one the boys asked and I explained that many thought it
was a war for the survival of our country --that we were
also fighting Germany and Italy--that really
garnered attention. "It was the World War II..millions
perished--millions more effected somehow by
it's evil"-----. The yellow school bus appeared
with the warning lights flashing--the children didn't
seem to rush off--in fact it seemed as if they were
undecided to leave or not--as if they wanted me to tell them
more--the bus waited in the middle of the street--several
cars waited in back--a couple in the front--waited for the
kids to board the bus. Finally they turned and headed
toward the bus--I called out to them to look in on the
HISTORY CHANNEL-- to look for those titled VICTORY AT
SEA--"they've always been my favorites", I told
them. Is it true that the schools are curtailed
from teaching about WW II--how can that be--I still
recall being taught about the Battle of Hastings in
1066--between the French and the English---a
continent away--can there be such a thing as sorting out
priorities? JW

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