Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

World War 2 Okinawa Plane Graveyard 1945
Okinawa, Damaged plane graveyard, 1945

World War II 2 soldier Andrew Selep
Andrew Selep, 1942
Veterans Day has special meaning for me this year.  My father, a World War 2 veteran, passed away in October 2010.  He lived a long, full life, accomplished many things, and loved his 9 children and 17 grandchildren.  He almost never mentioned WWII, and never brought it up.  Maybe once a decade he would answer questions about World War 2, and only when specifically asked.  

Looking now at photos he had from that time, I remember again the millions of people who did not survive World War 2. Americans have many blessings and freedoms today, and we owe our veterans, both the ones who came back and the ones that did not. 

These photos are worth a thousand words.  Dad was stationed in Okinawa at the end of the war.  He is the man sitting on the right airplane wing above.  Damaged planes where pushed to the side of the runway and used for parts to keep other planes flying. (Photo below)
World War II 2 Okinawa plane graveyard with soldiers
Okinawa, Damaged plane graveyard, 1945

Like a kid he posed in the wreckage of these planes on Okinawa Island in 1945, reminding me of a adventuresome curiosity and interest he had all his life.  He was only 21, and only 139 pounds when he enlisted in August of 1942.  By the end of the war he looks older, had significantly less hair.  He doesn't look like he weighed much more then he did in 1942.

World War II 2 vetern Andrew Selep in damaged plane Okinawa 1945
Andrew Selep in damaged plane, Okinawa, 1945
The photo below shows him posing by a sign in Okinawa that someone had made that said "The 64 $ ?"  I won't go into the history behind the phrase, "The 64 dollar question", but I wonder what that phrase meant to the soldiers, and what soldiers thought the question was near the end of the war (They wouldn't have known the end of the war was around the corner.)

World War 2 Okinawa the 64 dollar question

My dad was definitely happy when he did get to leave Okinawa.  This photo shows him packed to leave Okinawa.
World War II 2 soldier leaving Okinawa 1945

Click on the images to see them enlarged. 

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I am linking up to these memes:
Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday (I was entry 49 of 52). 
Brambleberry Cottage for Time Travel Thursday (I was entry 21 of 24).
Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration (I was entry 21 of 66).
Faded Charm for White Wednesday (I was entry 120 of 121).
Romantic Home for Show and Tell (I was entry 28 of 235).   
Jessica for Favorite Things Friday (I was entry 23 of 136).


Postcardy said...

Great pictures! What a nice way to remember your father.

Blue Ridge Altered Art said...

What wonderful pictures and memories. Great post for today. ~~Sherry~~

Brambleberry Cottage said...

What a handsome young man he was. I am so very sorry for your recent loss. I know your heart must yearn to see him again.

How proud those of us are whose fathers honorably served their families and countries.

Thanks for linking to my party.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

Debra@Common Ground said...

Amazing photographs, It left such deep emotional wounds on so so many young men. Thank you for sharing these!

Anna said...

Wonderful photos and a great post for Veterans day.

Maureen said...

What an absolute gift to have these photos.