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John Beckman - W4BTX Ham Radio: "A pastime for a Lifetime."
Holiday Update: I am writing this on 7 December which old timers will recognize as Pearl Harbor Day. I have been to Pearl Harbor and have taken the little boat trip out to the sunken battleship Arizona where, after 72 years underwater, there are still blobs of oil seeping up from that tomb of many young American sailors who died on this date in 1941. I was ten years old when I came home that Sunday afternoon and my mom and dad were sitting around stunned. What had happe3ned? I asked them. "The Japanese have attacked Pear Harbor," my dad answered. We didn't even know what or where Pearl Harbor was. But that day ushered in the most remarkable era of my life. America was at war.
Our country has been in many wars since then, but there was nothing like World War Two. There has never been a time in my life when our whole country was united in one effort. There was a feeling of cohesiveness that I have never felt since. Everyone, in this nation was concentrated on one goal - to free the world from the evils of Germany and Japan as they tried to overrun the globe with death and destruction.
My sister was a school teacher. She immediately quit her job and went to work in a plant making bombs. My only brother entered the Army Air Corps and became a P-47 fighter pilot. He served valiantly, but made the mistake of hitching a ride on a cargo plane which crashed and killed all aboard. Back home we kids were collecting aluminum pots and pans and bacon grease and turning it in for the "war effort." We had no coffee, no sugar, no gasoline, no tires - everything was rationed but nobody complained. If they did, someone was sure to jump them with, "Don't you know there is a war on?" Young women whose only choices of employment until then were teaching or nursing, went to work in war plants turning out bombers and fighters at the rate of one a minute.
The young people of today have no concept of what a sacrifice America made so that they can enjoy freedom. Hundreds of thousands of young men left their farms and towns and went to foreign lands for no other purpose than to free them from what would have been slavery. And then, those who lived, came home and seldom talked about their war experiences. Those old veterans are dying at a rapid pace. Someone once said that no war is over until the last veteran has died. That day is coming soon. But, please, in this season of holiday spirits and Christmas trees and gifts, take a moment and remember those young men who gave their all that the world would be a better place. Americans have always been the first to answer the call when life and liberty have been threatened anywhere on the globe. Politicians declare war, but young Americans are the ones called to do the fighting - and dying. As you celebrate Christmas, say a prayer for our military men and women. Without them, we Americans and most of Europe and the Pacific would be speaking German or Japanese today had our nation not united for the battle of WW-II. And unashamedly wish your ham contacts, whatever their religion, a "Merry Christmas" and be proud to say, "I am an American!"
On a happy note, if you receive a new Kindle or iPad from Santa and want to try it out with a diversion from ham radio, one of my Adventrue/Thriller novels can be downloaded FREE from Amazon from 26 through 30 December (It's available all over the world). Simply click HERE any time during the five day free period.and I hope you enjoy it. Consider it a small token of my appreciation for allowing me to share many years of ham radio with folks just like you..
From me to you and all the visitors to this web site, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!.
Thank you for dropping by; 73 until 2014. Send comments HERE
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