A Day That Will Live In “Infamy”
Today is the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. It's another anniversary, too!
Seventy-five years ago today, the United States was drawn into World War II by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The "Greatest Generation" defeated the Axis alliance of Nazi Germany, Mussolini's Italy and Imperialist Japan.
December 7th is a different anniversary for me. It was the day my son, Ethan, came home forever.
Justin was our miracle. We'd been trying to start a family and have kids for such a long time. We never thought we'd ever be blessed with kids, until we connected with him. He introduced us to Ethan.
Cathy and I were hosted by a very nice young lady named Tata. Ethan and I spent Thanksgiving with her and her friends.
We gathered around her dining table. She asked me to say a blessing. As nervous as I was, I was incredibly humbled to be welcomed into her home and embraced by her friends. It was the true spirit of the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It's pretty much a straight line from Minnesota to Ukraine. So between Thanksgiving and Pearl Harbor Day, I got to see the first snowfall of Winter in Kiev. None of the apartments in Kiev have dryers. They have wash machines. Clothes air dry on clothes lines or racks. Not only did we have to plan our wardrobe a day or two ahead, our first two trips to Kiev were either in the early Fall or early Winter. That made for some very interesting clothing challenges.
I didn't see very many snowblowers in Kiev either. Road crews used shovels and wheelbarrows to move snow from sidewalks and streets. Looking out the apartment window, I saw a woman clearing the courtyard below with what looked like an oversized pancake turner. I saw a lot of what looked like flat metal on sticks.
When Ethan and I finally got to the airport, after I checked out bags, we were stopped by a military officer. He escorted us to a small office where there at least two other officers. They asked Ethan if he really wanted to come to America with me. I'm sure glad he said Yes.
At the gate there was an announcement that our flight from Kiev to Frankfort had been cancelled due to runway conditions there. Before I could really start hyperventilating, a man sitting next to us told me to wait just a moment. There would be another announcement. Sure enough, there was. The first announcement was incorrect. The flight was still on. As we were sitting there, he told me that he knew both English and Russian and if there was anything I wanted to ask or talk to Ethan about, he would be more than happy to interpret for us. I don't remember what we talked about. All I remember is that there was so much I wanted to ask and say. I wasn't sure where to begin. I don't remember where this gentleman was going on his journey, but he wasn't continuing on to the states from Frankfurt.He said goodbye to us as we raced across the airport in Frankfurt to make our connection.
Four years ago today, my son Ethan came home for good. Now, I don't remember a time before we had kids.