December 7

I’d like to repost something I wrote on the 27th of November, 2007. For perspective…on heroes.

Sometimes You Read ABout the Neatest People

…in the local obituaries. We lost Mr. FRANK E. ZIELINSKI (1915 – 2007) this October 24th. He was a drummer. Now, it’s only a couple lines of his story, but they speak volumes

…After high school he enlisted in the Navy as a musician, a drummer. He served as a Musician for 23 years retiring in 1959.
Frank was serving on board the USS Nevada at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked.

His band completed the flag raising ceremony while under attack and then manned their battle stations.

don’t you think?

Hit by 1 aerial torpedo and 6, or more, bombs during the attack on Pearl Harbor, Nevada was beached in the harbour entrance to prevent sinking. She rejoined the fleet a year later, after repairs and refitting at Puget Sound Navy Yard.

Bless you, sir, and our condolences to your family.

Heroes and, as I’m sure Mr. Zielinski and countless others that day would say, guys just doing their duty.


8 Responses to “December 7”

  1. Syd B. says:

    A few years ago, I was at Pearl Harbor, where, quite often, they will have a vet who was actually present that day, wondering around, talking to visitors and relating their own experience and memories of the attack. Sadly, there are fewer and fewer of these wonderful heroes left. The day I was there, this wonderful old fellow told an adoring crowd who gathered around him, how he was a mechanic and was underneath an officer’s jeep, completing some repair, when the attack started. He recalled how he looked out the doors of the garage and saw his fellow marines shooting at the passing planes with rifles and pistols. He was so scared, he, for a brief moment, stayed below the jeep, thinking he would be safe, however, he realized how cowardly this was (his words) and stood up, found a pistol in the back of the jeep and joined his friends in shooting at the Japanese planes overhead. He then said something that stuck with me ever since and brought a tear to my eye at the time. He said he had lived with the shame ever since that his first thought was to protect himself instead of joining his fellow Marines in battle. I stepped out from the crowd and gave him a hug, as he was becoming overtaken with emotion, as was I. Everyone waited their turn thereafter and hugged him. That experience was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever had happen to me and I feel blessed that I was there on that particular day.

  2. Rob says:

    All of the WWII vets I knew are gone now. Makes me very sad.

  3. Julie says:

    The Arizona Memorial is such an emotional place. I don’t believe in “ghosts” per se but I honestly felt a spiritual presence there… (I’ve only felt it one other place – The Wall in DC.) God bless those brave souls.

  4. Kathy Kinsley says:

    @Rob – my father is still alive. And I’m going to keep him that way as long as I can.

    He was ‘bomb squad’ (though they called it something else back then) and has some pretty funny stories… sigh – and probably some pretty unfunny ones he won’t tell.

    Got him one of those “bomb squad – if you see me running, try to keep up” t-shirts last year. He got a GOOD BIG laugh out of it. 🙂

  5. Kathy Kinsley says:

    P.S. – And the amount of time he spent laughing made me suspect there are some not-so-funny stories he won’t tell me… but still, I’m glad he liked the shirt.

  6. Kathy Kinsley says:

    P.S. “just doing their duty”

    You know, that’s a far underused/underestimated/underliked word… duty. But it’s one a lot of us should learn. (Not just the military.)
    Because if we don’t do our duty, the government will do it for us.

    I’d rather they didn’t.

  7. Rob says:

    I’m glad to hear that, Kathy. My Dad was a Korean war vet. All I ever heard was the funny stories, too.

  8. Kathy Kinsley says:

    The funny stories are the ones they WANT to remember. The unfunny ones are the ones we should hear. But…hauling them through hell again isn’t my choice. 🙁

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