Friday, August 14, 2015

Spirit of '45

On August 9, 2015 I attended a very special event.
It was called the Spirit of '45, and in attendance were a lot of WWII veterans and their families. It was held at Balboa Parks Veterans Museum

The entire experience was very humbling, and I feel very grateful to have attended. I got to speak to a few veterans and their families, explore a museum I haven't been in since I was 16, and literally feel the history buzzing around me.

Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego


Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego

Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego


Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego

Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego


Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego

Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego

I stopped and chatted with this gentleman and his family for a bit. This is John, and he was in the Navy for a number of years. He had his well loved scrapbook which he said is about 60 years old, full of images from before he went to the service, during his tour, and even photos of the signing at the end of the war! For which he had an amazing story as to how he acquired them!
His family were very kind, and I hope to run into them in the near future!


Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego

Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego


At this point, they brought up some WWII vets and asked them were they were August 14, 1945. Among the men they asked, many were on their ships, some in Europe, even some in POW camps. All vividly recalled what was going through their heads when they were told of the surrender of Japan. 

Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego


Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego

I popped back a bit to talk with John and Dianne, and saw they had disappeared. I was told they went dancing, and I snuck some shots that Dianne gleefully told me to post on the blog.

I tried to not 'Awww' loudly.


Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego

Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego

Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego


Tiny Angry Crafter Spirit of 45 San Diego


I was very fortunate to be able to speak to this kind gentleman. His name is Stu, and he's a Pearl Harbor survivor. He recanted what he experienced December 7th, 1941 in excruciating detail, I shed a tear or two. Stu's job was gun pointer for turrets, which had him shooting shells which were 5ft2in tall, when he told me that, I mouthed 'That's how tall I am!' and he got a big laugh out of that.




When I got home and talked with my grandparents and asked where they were during the end of WWII, and they had said with the both of them being kids, and on two different sides of the states (grandpa in San Diego, grandma in Pennsylvania), it was interesting to hear how they reacted.
Grandpa watched as people hugged and partied in the streets downtown.  My grandma had a somber feel, knowing her older brother wouldn't return home, but was happy that other men and boys were able to.
I also asked them what their parents did during wartime. Grandpa said his mom was a welder, and his dad worked for the Highway Patrol. Grandma said her parents just did their usual jobs. Guess there was a huge difference in what people did depending on where they lived.


On the 15th, I'll be attending another WWII event, and will share photos of that with you.

Have any of you been to any of the WWII related events in your areas?

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