Tag Archives: Memorial Day

Memory: A Trip From the Depths of the Closet

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!!! Hope you’re enjoying the three-day weekend.

I spent most of my weekend cleaning out my closet. I knew I had a lot crammed in there, but I didn’t realize how much stuff. There were things I’d completely forgotten about, like yearbooks…from elementary school. (Yikes! Time to get rid of those.)

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Wasn’t I adorable?

Two of the things I unburied reminded me how long I’ve been writing. They’re two books: one poetry and one essays from high school. These books were the published works of all the finalists and winners for the Northeastern United States high school poetry and essay contests.

I was a finalist in both, and I thought it’d be fun to share a sonnet written during my years of teenage angst.

Wondering

What lies beyond the stars high above us?

The glowing fire that consumes my soul lost,

bright burning fires expand my want and lust.

New life born from the bitter black is just?

Long lost places shrouded in mysteries deep,

long lost souls that I must keep hidden clear,

great nightmares of destruction in my sleep,

I see all this and wait to shed a tear.

Up floating high, no I’m afraid to fly,

wait, do we fly or remain down inside?

Inside is cold and dark and black, oh my!

Loved ones, are you happy or sad, I’ve cried.

I sit wondering for what holds the key;

one day long into the future I’ll see.

That poem was courtesy of ninth grade. Funny thing is that as I re-read that poem, I clearly pictured what I’d intended it to be about. Memory is fascinating: how you can remember so vividly something you’d forgotten about when a touchstone presents itself. My touchstone was the poetry book.

Do you have any long lost writing?

(Photo courtesy of myself.)

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“And If I Perish: Frontline Army Nurses in World War II” Book Review

Happy Memorial Day, United States! Today is a day where we honor those who’ve served and fallen for our country. Today is a day where I think of all those within my family who’ve served in the Navy, the Marines, the Army, the Air Force, and the Coast Guard; those of my relatives who survived war, those who didn’t, and those who, though never saw battle, were prepared to fight.

11869279294_da403f85b4_kEach country has their own day of remembrance, and on this day, I believe sharing a book review from one of the largest wars in Earth’s history is appropriate. And If I Perish: Frontline Army Nurses in World War II is a novel that highlights a too often ignored part of United States history: the thousands of women who volunteered to stand by soldiers on the frontline during 6777257254_b89ec5cef9_bthe years’ long World War II, and to be captured and to die alongside those soldiers.

Though none of my relatives were nurses during WWII, my great-grandmother was a Rosie the Riveter. Reading And If I Perish, I was astounded to discover that such a vital piece of World War II history wasn’t taught in schools – wasn’t even acknowledged – and how after the war, military nurses weren’t treated as heroes or veterans; instead their military records were lost and these women were forgotten.

And If I Perish is one of those novels that make you realize how inadequate and subjective history is. The authors, Monahan and Neidel-Greenlee, highlight a significant part of history that has largely been, not forgotten, but completely ignored: the history of nurses serving in the army during World War II.

Without these thousands of brave women working on the front lines, many more lives would have been lost. These women were bombed, taken prisoner, and killed, just like the male soldiers. However, army nurses were only given “relative rank,” which means that they received no benefits, weren’t recognized as veterans, weren’t saluted like male officers of the same rank were, were discouraged to use the GI Bill to go to college and had very little access to military hospitals after the war…in fact, when the war ended, these brave and self-sacrificing women were told that it was time for them to be ladies again.

6807222761_80ee868dac_bThese women weren’t drafted. Every single one of them volunteered to march into some of the bloodiest battles in human history, to stand beside men on the front lines, to risk life and limb. The army and other military nurses deserve to be recognized for their phenomenal achievements. They deserve to be known.

Do you have any relatives who served as nurses during WWII?

(Photos courtesy of PhotosNormandiekitchener.lord, and Army Medicine.)