During World War II my father, like so many young men around the world, volunteered to serve his country after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. He was just 18 years old when he left the security of his small town life in Michigan, joined the Navy and shipped out with his younger brother to serve in the South Pacific. Once there, he was wounded twice. I did not find this out until after he died in 1998. He was a private man. Monolithic some might say. Certainly independent and reserved.
This photo shows him while recovering in Florida after being sent back to the States with one of his battle scars. See him standing dead center in the boat (inset), perhaps for safety or protection? Maybe this is the day he got the idea to honeymoon in Florida with my mother, even though he had not met her yet. I find it interesting that there seems to be a sense of normalcy in the photo. The world is imploding around them with millions of people dying and suffering beyond our wildest imaginations, but people still took time in Silver Springs, Florida for the simple pleasure of a Jungle Cruise Boat Ride. They still do today by the way. I think back to the 1940s when the whole world was completely upside down, run by a few madmen. I think about how lucky we are even in these tough times to be living in the greatest democracy in the world.-Kendall