Monday, May 25, 2015

A Symbol of Democracy and Freedom

During World War II, my Grandpa Max Snow served in the Philippines, as a clerk in an office right next to General MacArthur. He was one of the first people to get official notice of "Japanese capitulation," or the end to the war in the Pacific.

Just before he left, my grandpa started a short journal. He wrote about the heat and how he missed ice cream and "cold drinks." He wrote about my grandma and how much he loved her, and he wrote about becoming a dad. (My uncle was born while he was away at war.) He alluded to some of the horrible things he saw, and he vaguely described some of the others.

One of the things I like most, though, is at the beginning of the journal, where he wrote about leaving America:
The Golden Gate was beautiful and looked so strong and defiant, as we sailed under it, all troops were piled together, seeing it for perhaps the last time for many of us, and certainly a long time for the rest. It seemed to me as though that bridge more than anything I have ever seen, was the symbol of democracy & freedom [. . .].

My grandpa had been where I have been . . . Has looked at that bridge with awe and wonder. It seems . . . special to me. What an incredible opportunity—to read his words and feel their power, even though he is gone. And what an odd feeling it must be to expect to never see your home country again. (And what a beautiful country this is!)

Two takeaways come to mind when I read my grandpa's journal: 1) Be grateful, and 2) Keep a record of your life! I suppose those are the things that motivate me to blog. So I say to you, readers: Go forth and blog. Write in a private journal, at least. Your grandchildren won't regret it.

Thing I'm thankful for: soldiers who have died in combat. Thank you.


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