Monday, February 9, 2009

Dad and I have an Excellent Adventure

I spent the day with my father (a WWII Naval Aviator) aboard the USS Midway CVN-41, now a museum on the Navy Pier here in San Diego.

It was quite a day for me. And Dad, too, I think.

The picture above was taken in the "Goat Locker", the Chief's Mess.

It is a special table. It is the POW/MIA table.

The sign reads as follows:

This table is a place of honor.

Its solitary setting is a reminder that some of those who defend our country are no longer among us.

The table is small to symbolize the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors.

The tablecloth is white to symbolize the purity of intention to heed their country's call to arms.

The single rose in the vase reminds us of the families and loved ones who keep the faith awaiting our comrades-in-arms' return.

The red ribbon attests to the unyielding determination of thousands who demand a proper accounting of our missing.

The lemon slice upon the bread plate reminds us of their bitter fate.

The salt upon the bread plate is symbolic of their families' tears as they wait.

The glass is inverted as they cannot toast with us tonight.

The seat is empty for those who are not here.


Two old sailors, father and son, back upon a naval vessel, for the first time in 64 and 34 years respectively. It was a 'heavy' day.

And the sight of that table is what touched me most after Dad and I parted.

I paused in reflection of a few guys I knew and the thousands I did not.

The sacrifices of so many patriotic men and women over our history.

I am humbled, proud to be an American, proud to have served and proud to be my father's son.

Catch you later.....


Anonymous said...

Sweet story. Thanks for that.

GOPnot4me said...

Dear WriteChick,

If you would like the link to the Picasa public album of the 55 other photos, entitled "Bill and Mike's Excellent Adventure" just drop me a line at the e-mail address listed on my profile page.

I am my father's eldest (of eight, seven surviving) and last Sunday I was vividly reminded of my father as a young man, when I was but a child. You could see the young, dashing pilot quite clearly.

He was able to talk with fellow WWII vets, acting as docents, and listening, watching them recollect made me recall the conversations of neighbors and uncles 50 years ago as the men spoke of their service, say, around the BBQ on a summer Saturday eve.

I will always be able to recall our day aboard the Midway, in detail, for the rest of my life.

My Dad is, by the way, my best friend.

Fond regards, GOPnot4me

Anonymous said...

Great! Just dropped you a note.

GOPnot4me said...

The link has been sent, let me know if you have problems. :)

Dede Zimmermann said...

Mike, these photos are great and you did a great job capturing the spirit of the day. What a great story to go with the photos. I am so glad you and Dad had this special day together, he really enjoyed it. Miss and love you!