Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

My father, Eugene Herman, served in the United States Army from May 27, 1943 until February 24, 1946. He was just 20 years old when he began his service in the Signal Corps, the military branch responsible for military communications (signals).

While I was cleaning out Dad's desk after he died, I discovered this little blue book--"My Life in the Service." His handwriting appears to me somewhat unrecognizable, certainly a much younger version of the familiar distinctive scrawl of his later adult years.

Reading this journal is strangely odd. Surprisingly, it is more a day-by-day reporting of the weather, an account of letters received, a mention of movies watched, and brief commentaries on friends. Peppered in the entries are fewer historical references than I would have anticipated from the man who was still discussing politics until the day before he died. It does, however, offer me a snapshot of the young man my father was during this historical time. I am grateful to have found it.

Here is an entry:

K.P. Tomorrow. I’m staying in tonight listening to my radio. News came in fast today. Teletypes at FX ran almost continuously all day. Followed tape waiting for V-E day. All but part of Checz. and Norway remain in Allied hands. Nazis expected to give in. Over 900,000,000 words have left Britain since war began. This is only cabled or wired words. Radio not included. 100,000,000 stories have been filed. Beginning to get into FM. I really like this stuff.
Mood-indifferent. Weather-clear and warm.”

No comments:

Post a Comment