Frankly, this has been on my mind… Being susceptible to liver cancer, my ultrasound was postponed. I also had depression; I can imagine how millions of folks are feeling being confronted with lost incomes.
Doctors raise alarm about health effects of continued coronavirus shutdown: ‘Mass casualty incident’
World War II started for America about 80 years ago.
December 7th, 1941 while Democrat FDR was president.
It was war, pure and simple.
Almost the whole nation was behind FDR (although behind the scenes, he did have influence on it starting). “FakeNews” was also in a full speed mode, under-reporting battle losses and issuing propaganda by the boatload. However, FakeNews was not undermining FDR – it was supporting FDR.
As a sample of how much America was into beating our enemies, several MAJOR movie stars enlisted into the Armed Forces; several were in combat. Point is, they demonstrated they were behind the war effort and FDR – well, for the most part. At least they didn’t bad mouth the president on the stage, radio or TV. Oh, wait a minute. They didn’t have TV.
A Few Hollywood Patriots
I wrote of Jimmy Stewart earlier. He is a humble hero in my book. He piloted B-24 Liberators over Europe, enduring what seemed to have lasted years piloting his bomber through Nazi flak. As with all others in combat, he eventually suffered from what they called “combat fatigue” back then.
He put his life on the line and was a true hero in my book.
Clark Gable did enlist at the ripe old age of 41 against FDR’s wishes; however, he didn’t have much interest in politics but his wife Carole Lombard did. She adored FDR. After meeting her untimely death in a plane crash while on a War Bond Tour in 1942, folks say Gable enlisted to cope with her death. Some people close to him say it was a death wish.
While pushed towards a desk job producing war films, he bucked the orders and actually flew in five combat missions. Believe me, there were no “milk runs” over Europe during WWII. He suffered frostbite on his first combat mission (above) and narrowly avoided death in another mission.
Renowned band leader Glenn Miller also enlisted at the ripe age of 38. He was rejected by the US Navy but the US Army gladly took him in. He was at the peak of his career. He was to entertain the troops for morale purposes, a very much needed thing.
On December 15, 1944, he took off from the RAF base at Clapham, England headed for Paris to conduct a performance by his band. His small plane, a Norseman, never made it. It disappeared and remains undiscovered to this day. It was ironic his death was not through enemy action, proving the point made many times there were no milk runs during WWII.
In Hollywood today, many of the most “popular” stars are in “action” movies (e.g., war) or as comic characters brought to the big screen. Some even portray US Army soldiers. Purely fictional, of course, but the point remains they were trying to portray men facing the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of America.
They made megabucks… and I mean, MEGABUCKS.
Here’s a few:
Tom Hanks and Matt Damon:
Chris Evans as “Captain America” in the wildly popular Marvel Avenger series:
Scarlett Johansson as “Black Widow” in yet another Marvel Avenger series:
And of course, Brad Pitt in “Fury”:
And let’s not mention Robert DeNiro.
But the point I am trying to make is… We are in an unprecedented war right now. We just cannot see the enemy. It is a virus released by accident (or whatever) in Wuhan, China.(1)
Just like Pearl Harbor, the attack came from overseas. (There is one distinction: FDR manipulated the Japanese into a corner and left the 7th Fleet out in Pearl Harbor defenseless. ) This Wuhan Virus invasion erupted through no fault of the President of the United States. He surely didn’t manipulate it into occurring. (2)
Sadly, unlike WWII, only a FEW Hollywood notables are contributing to the war effort. None of them are listed above. The vast majority are trying to undermine the President’s and country’s NATIONAL efforts to quell the spread of the Wuhan virus.
They should use their “celebrity status” to ENCOURAGE their fans to follow the President’s “stay home” and “social distancing” directives – like Samuel L. Jackson did only recently (Caution: bad language):
That’s the LEAST they can do… Be like Carole Lombard in real life and support our efforts but they AREN’T or WON’T because of political beliefs. They are more scared of backlash or being “blacklisted” if they are even photographed next to our President. The Great Hollywood Generation of WWII sacrificed everything to win.
The Hollyweird of today will openly support abortion or supposed environmental shit or hold up even a severed head on Instagram – but cower due to social media ramifications when the country calls on them to support the President’s call to duty.
Even Tom Hanks, whose PR machine disclosed he was infected with “COVID-19” has not made any notable effort to encourage his fans to stay home. WTF? He portrayed a captain in the US Army on D-Day! He should use his PR machine to broadcast a video over and over and encourage his fans to stay home or practice social distancing. To stop hoarding, for God’s sake. Same for “Captain America”, “Black Widow” and “Private Ryan” actors.
However, like WWII, FakeNews is also here – but are reporting mis-truths to attack or take down our President. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?? Don’t they want America – US – back on our feet? CNN mocked the President when he instituted a travel ban from China, for example.
Don’t get me wrong: I do NOT know how truly overloaded our ER’s are with “COVID-19” patients due to the plethora of FakeNews. I feel like my Aunt Eiko did in Tokyo during WWII when Japanese FakeNews was telling her Japan was winning the war when B-29s started flying overhead. I have seen privately taken videos of ER’s with “normal” patient loads – broken limbs, heart attack victims, etc., which contradict the hysteria being reported by FakeNews due to the President’s supposed “improper and insufficient actions”.
As another example of false reporting, per allsides.com:
“CBS News aired footage of an Italian hospital while reporting on New York hospitals and the ventilator shortage on March 25.
“CBS This Morning” discussed Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s allegation that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) only gave the state 400 ventilators when they needed 30,000.
The network aired footage of a crowded hospital room with the implication, based on what was being reported, that it was taken at a hospital in New York. However, this hospital was seen in footage during a Sky News segment on Italian hospitals and the novel coronavirus crisis that aired on March 22.”
In another example to undermine the President’s efforts and create more panic or despair, CNN’s Rachel Maddow per the Daily Mail reported on air:
“MSNBC star Rachel Maddow is slammed for peddling ‘fake news’ after she claimed 10 days ago the hospital ships Mercy and Comfort would not be in LA and NY for weeks and called Trump’s promise they would arrive ‘nonsense’
Rachel Maddow said that the ships would not arrive for weeks on her show
Her pronouncement was part of a segment decrying the Trump administration’s reaction to the global pandemic
10 days after Maddow spoke, New York welcomed the arrival of the US Naval Ship Comfort to New York Harbor on Monday
The USNS Mercy arrived in the Los Angeles area on Friday
The Comfort will provide 1,000 additional hospital beds, 1,200 personnel and is a major step forward in New York City’s fight against coronavirus
I am sorry but that is NOT news reporting. (3)
It is OPINION reporting, fueled by disdain for the President.
Our celebrities – revered by so many – must get on the bandwagon to curb the spread of this potentially fatal illness… I am not talking about giving money to those in despair. That’s only a smsll group. Get out in front of the public via whatever social app and tell them to stay home! FakeNews must swallow their pride and become TrueNews… for America’s sake.
Both of you, support our President like you did in WWII.
We are at war with an invisible invasion.
Help us WIN.
(1) Key people in China involved in detecting the virus have since disappeared. People against the State do disappear, you know.
(2) It is my belief that the way China has attempted to cover up or play down the tragic results of the infection tells me it leaked out if a bioweapons laboratory in Wuhan. If so, dire ramificatons for Xi and his military. Why else would they keep reporting untrue results or results that just conflict??
(3) If you go to Google’s or Yahoo News feed, notice what they show: news from CNN (remember Maddow), CBS (remember they showed an Italian ER leading us to believe it was a NYC ER), NYT, etc. You rarely see anything from FOX or better yet, OANN – unless it suits their agenda.
During WWII, receiving a package from home was the ultimate morale booster for our boys in uniform. These packages brought tremendous joy to the men, especially when they were near or at the front, subjected to the brutality and extremes of environments.
Upon experiencing the joy of receiving a parcel, very little could surpass finding the lingering scent of their girl’s perfume on a knitted muffler; candy and gum ranked up there, too. Socks were also in high demand as socks wore out much more quickly than sweaters or mufflers and dry socks were essential necessities to ward off trench foot. Indeed, trench foot¹ and frostbite took their toll on our boys in battle more than being wounded by bullets or shrapnel.
While machines produced millions, there were even “knitting parties” where women knitted socks, scarves, vests and “fingerless” mittens. In fact, Eleanor Roosevelt just months before Pearl Harbor founded a “Knit for Defense” effort in the US.
But within today’s capsule of electronic bliss, many of us civilians in all walks of life see no difficulty with a family trying to communicate with their loved one who is not at home because he/she is in uniform.
Cell phones. GPS. Email. “Facetime”. Skype.
Even packages from home are viewed as no big thing anymore by the general public. They are taken for granted by many civilians because the packages leaving the front porch seem to be riding on a beacon radiating from a soldier’s open palms now – think FedEx. Perhaps this could be one possible reason why so many Americans seem to feel gifts from home are “no big deal”. They see our men in uniform as being as close as a laptop. That is far from reality as are many TV shows. They still long for home.
One thing hasn’t changed from World War II: the morale-boosting smile that erupted on a soldier’s face when he received a package from home.
So what got me thinking about these now long-forgotten packages from home that brought so many smiles to GI Joes on a WWII battlefield?
My oldest daughter Robyn spearheaded an effort with family and friends to bring together hundreds of donations to be sent anonymously to our military through the efforts of a non-profit organization called “Operation Gratitude“. Among many other essentials, there were razors, hand wipes, sunscreen, foot powder, Chapstick and most importantly, letters from students thanking the unknown recipient for their service to our country. In addition, Robyn purchased thousands of yards of “paracord“. It had to first be cut in 7.5 foot lengths; then, the open ends have to be sealed with a small flame. These were then hand braided into survival bracelets – 300 of them.
Through their volunteers and generous donations from the public, Operation Gratitude has delivered over 1.4 million parcels so far!
These smiles make it all worth it, yes?
The Journey of a WWII Package
During WWII, a package sent from home took weeks if not months for a soldier to get it… Or in the worse possible scenario, the young man would never receive their package from home because they were either killed or missing as this photo below graphically shows. It would exponentially worsen for the family as they would have likely received the infamous telegrams only to have the battered package marked “DECEASED” left at their doorstep many weeks later:
The packages from home would make their way via ship. For the European Theater of War and before D-Day, a number of supply ships were likely attacked or sunk by U-Boats. After surviving the voyage and unloading at a European port (permanent or man-made like at Normandy), the packages, along with sacks of mail, would be transferred to trucks.
Europe did have mapped roads making delivery somewhat more certain but the trucks were subject to destruction via enemy air attacks, shelling or road mines. I understand mail pieces were primarily sorted at battalion headquarters then filtered down to a company or OP level which could be moving in the course of battle.
Making it to the individual soldier was not a sure thing. The package would have to make its way to the platoon then to the individual soldier’s last known position. Perhaps there was a makeshift “post office” but if the front was fluid, their location would be a question mark. Communication with a unit on the move was by field radio with an average range of five miles or so until actual phone lines could be reeled off (above).
It was MUCH less certain for Marines serving on those islands scattered about in the Pacific. For example, the package may never get there as a ship would be sunk or damaged, would rot in humid cargo holds exceeding 130F, or the Marine just couldn’t be located because they kept moving, especially if in combat. Communication was a wild card and without it, finding the Marine’s location was difficult.
On these sweltering Pacific islands and unlike Europe, few or no roads were the norm until the engineers came ashore to build them. Mud greeted the Marines. Any dirt road became mud rivers and muddy hills made it worse. When mail did reach their island, the mail drops on many an occasion were truly drops – they were pushed out of cargo planes with parachutes at low altitude:
In some Pacific battles, mail would be delayed as there were no “front lines” on these islands for some time. Iwo Jima was a typical one as the enemy for the most part were hidden underground and would pop up out of holes and caves to kill.
Today, we frequently call packages sent either from home or from efforts like Operation Gratitude “CARE packages”.
During WWII, the American Red Cross spearheaded monumental efforts (below) to produce Prisoner of War packages. They were not called “CARE” packages as of yet.
More than 27 million parcels were prepared by over 13,000 volunteers and shipped by the American Red Cross to the International Red Cross Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, for distribution in the POW camps.
These packages may have included:
Prisoners held by the Germans did better than those in the Pacific. While many packages were intercepted by Nazis and used for their own use, the Japanese provided almost no cooperation to the International Red Cross efforts. In some cases, the prisoners in German POW camps would keep only the cigarettes and chocolate then “volunteer” the rest of the food articles to the Nazi camp cooks.
However, the actual term of “CARE Package” did not pertain to these life-saving parcels. Instead, “an organization called CARE was founded in 1945, when 22 American organizations came together to rush lifesaving CARE Packages to survivors of World War II. Thousands of Americans, including President Harry S. Truman, contributed to the effort. On May 11, 1946, the first 20,000 packages reached the battered port of Le Havre, France.”²
All in all, Operation Gratitude fulfills both roles: the precious package from home combined with the CARE package concept. With the economy the way it is and coupled with the unacceptably low budget for our military, I feel these packages do bring smiles to our men and women in uniform. It tells them that in spite of how the media chooses to report on mostly negative incidents involving them, it shows millions of us support them 100%.
A crisp salute to Operation Gratitude, my daughter Robyn and of course, our men and women wearing our country’s uniforms so proudly and valiantly.
During WWII, there were about 60,000 trench foot casualties requiring removal from the battlefield. 85% of these casualties were from rifle companies. Only about 15% made it back to the field.
My grandfather, Hisakichi Kanemoto, immigrated from Hiroshima in 1898 with my grandmother Kono coming in 1908 to become his picture bride. They had seven children of which my dad is the last surviving sibling at 96 years of age. Five of those children called “Hotel Fujii” their home at King and Maynard in Seattle, WA. Sadly, Hotel Fujii is no longer standing.
My two littlest kids and I took a short vacation trip to Seattle the week of June 22, 2015. One project I tasked myself was to attempt putting together “then and now” recreations of family photos taken about 100 years ago. Well, mostly 90 years ago but 100 sounded better. Yet, I was only partially successful; it was luck for the most part:
This “then and now” project was only partially successful as I did not consider many things:
Other very successful “then and now” recreations by professionals primarily had one thing in their backgrounds that I did not: a building. I overlooked that fact. The Fujii Hotel was torn down with only a park left in its place, e.g., there were no windows or doors to line up the old photos with. For the most part, that made for difficulty in guessing/placing from where the photos from the mid-1910s to the 1920s were taken.
I did not consider the fact that the buildings on this street 100 years ago were built on a hill, i.e., all were built upon a concrete base that was taller at the west end compared to the east end.
Because of the number of cars parked curbside, I had to resort to wide angle shots. By doing so, perspective in comparison to the original would not be correct.
There were a few homeless at the park who clearly did not want their picture taken. As my two kids were with me, that became a hurdle.
I did not take into account the time of day (shade).
I did not anticipate the construction nor the large trucks, garbage cans and trees blocking the view.
I misjudged the position from where I took the photographs, affecting perspective and angle. I should have been ten more yards east for a few of the images. Too late now.
I also realized that there were no pictures of Uncle Yutaka nor Aunt Michie at the Hotel Fujii. Uncle Yutaka had likely already been in Japan (1913) by the time these old family photos were taken. Aunt Michie, of course, was the only sibling not born in Seattle but rather in Hiroshima.
A lot was learned.
I only wish I had gained the experience before undertaking this family project. I do hope my cousins and children will still find these images interesting if not to merely appreciate our family photos from “100 years ago”.
1. Grandfather (back to camera in center) camping on Mt. Rainier and Mr. Fujii’s 1913 Chevrolet Six:
2. King and Maynard today:
3. The northeast corner of King and Maynard, taken June 25, 2015. The building still stands as it was 100 years ago.
My two littlest and I are wrapping up a four night visit to Seattle, my dad’s hometown. We head back tomorrow.
I had hoped to take a number of photos during the trip… but thievery occurred on the first day. While Jack had brought along my backup Canon DSLR to use, a thief absconded with my primary Canon camera on the first day.
Fortunately, with my last resort – my cameraphone – I snapped a photo of the thief, caught red-handed with the goods in her hands:
Yes, it was my Little Cake Boss Diva. I felt so bad turning her over to my good friend Trooper Gar of the Washington State Patrol… but he was kind enough to allow her to be released back into the custody of her old man.
But indeed, she took control of my camera over the four days. Of course, just like when I escort her to the mall, I end up merely being her porter, lugging around her camera when there is nothing for her to shoot.
But I had one personal goal: to visit my dad’s old Seattle neighborhood for the first time, children be willing. I wanted to put together a “100 Year Family Photo Anniversary and Recreation” of sorts.
Dad and all his siblings (except Aunt Michie) were born in Seattle between 1910 and 1925 then raised in the Hotel Fujii at 620 S. King Street. The hotel is no longer standing, having been replaced with the Hing Hay Park on the very corner Dad frequently mentioned: King and Maynard.
While this will be my very first try at recreating, the final images will hopefully be superimposed upon one another to show the then and now. I can’t do the superimposing here at the hotel as my tablet doesn’t have the necessary editing software; the two stand alone images above will have to do for now . The color photograph of my two kids above are straight out of the camera.
Coincidentally, at the end of our “Underground Seattle Tour” and in the gift shop, we came across “Lost Seattle”, the book in which my grandfather’s barbershop photo was featured.
The last two weeks have been exciting if not challenging with all the kids’ activities.
In addition to an 8th grade party and his 14th birthday, my youngest son Jack has graduated 8th grade and is heading off to high school come September. Not only did he receive recognition for perfect attendance, he also made honor roll.
In addition, my Little Cake Boss Diva has had rehearsals – lots of them – culminating in recitals… Twelve performances in total Friday, Saturday and Father’s Day Sunday. During the past ten days or so, I must have made at least 25 round trips taking both her and food to and from dance rehearsals and performances. Believe me, I have enough for TWO “She’s Killing Me” stories but you won’t be bored with them now; I shall refrain.
Insofar as these rehearsals and recitals go, she needs to be dropped off in full makeup and costume an hour before the start of every event. But as I dropped her off on Saturday and watched her get to the entrance, it was clear that she was no longer my little girl.
Still scatterbrained, though…Her brain has ceased to function now that school is over except she still wouldn’t let me take her picture.
Well, maybe just this one, taken with my cell phone past 10pm and after tonight’s recital. It was taken in the light flowing out from the main lobby of the performing arts center.
But my girl and boy are not the focus of this post… “Some disappointment” is my focus.
While my Little Cake Boss Diva performed five routines flawlessly Friday night (opening number, lyrical, tap, jazz, ballet), it’s about what the dance school decided to name the recital: Arabian Nights. That is the source of the disappointment for me. Of course, I have no say-so in the matter.
Perhaps it’s just the patriotism in me that’s clouding my vision – but it’s there plain as day. Arabian Nights. No, I am not racist but I do feel we are at war. It is abundantly clear our young boys are dying each day in a godforsaken region in which Arabian Nights is based upon yet this implies something else to me.
Let us view it differently. If a dance school in 1942 were to name their recital “Celebration of Nazi Folklore” or “A Tokyo Love Story”, would there be some boycotting or outrage? I would think so. Remember there were death camps and executions of prisoners of war. Besides, it just wouldn’t make sense. We were at war… and we are now.
Their opening number was called “Arabian Jewels”. Other performances were entitled “40 Thieves” and “Walk Like an Egyptian” (talk about stereotyping).
How about a theme like “The Andrew Sisters” with tap dancing to songs like “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”? Or how about celebrating the much needed morale boosting supplied by the Hollywood Canteen? Think of all the marvelous smiles these stars like Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis, Ray Bolger and Ginger Rogers provided our service men and women with their dance at the Hollywood Canteen. Wouldn’t that would be something that these girls could dance to?
Has the foundation upon which our country is based crumbled that far? At least we recited the Pledge of Allegiance at Jack’s graduation.
Anyways, I was just expressing some disappointment. I’m sure to many, this may be seen as cultural awareness. I do loathe sharia law which is intertwined in Arabian Nights. It is totally contra to our Constitution.
I guess the answer lies within which side of the fence you are on.
True stories about World War II – One war. Two Countries. One Family