Monday, April 22, 2002

Asparagirl has an interesting take on how the Holocaust is almost a racial memory for her. I kind of feel the same way about WW II, even though the invasion of Poland was thirty years to the day before I was born. My father was a soldier in the British Army in WW II. My mother withstood Nazi bombing raids as a child. Both of them lost friends to enemy action (some of my mother's tales chill my blood). My kid sister went to a school with a prominent memorial to the fallen children and teachers from an aerial mine attack.

There was no significant action taken by the Axis against civilian targets in the US post Pearl Harbor. So I think it's hard for many people in the US to realise quite how long the fingers of a war can be. The kitchen window in my parents' house was near-opaque 'R' glass for years, this being the 'R'ough glass you got after a bomb blew your windows in. I had to have the central pillar in my bedroom replaced (in the late 80's!) because my parents' house had been lifted off its foundations by the 1000 lb bomb that wiped out a family a few hundred metres away, and the house was still shifting. There's a crack in the masonry up the side of the house next door - a perfect indicator of a phenomenon known as 'blast shadow'. I grew up steeped in the knowledge that a generation fought and died to give me what I have. I think we're heading into a similar conflict against an enemy just as evil as the Nazis. If all goes well, at least I'll have something stirring to tell my children and grandchildren.


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