Sunday, February 15, 2015

BOOMERS : too young to have had nightmares about daddy, brother, uncle, grampa dying in the invasion of Japan

The postwar's first (transitional) generation of very young children, all grown up now, may feel an intellectual ambivalence about whether to decision to drop the A-Bomb on Hiroshima was indeed the only way to save lives by ending the war.

But they don't feel the searing emotional ambivalence that their older siblings, parents and grandparents had to feel, all their lives, about that same decision.

We never had to reconcile the joy in knowing that a close relative didn't have to die in the invasion of main islands Japan with the thoughts of all those Japanese grandparents and grandchildren fried and boiled alive at Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

My own father might would have been on a Canadian warship off Japan if Operation Olympic had happened, as planned, in October 1945 - been there almost for sure, if Operation Coronet had gone ahead in March-April 1946.

I know this, know the extreme risk for small (all Canadian warships were small) vessels under a Japanese Kamikaze attack - but I don't feel it in my gut - I don't recollect any searing childhood fear - because I wasn't even born until six years after the war's end.

I am in fact in a similar situation about the Korean War - my father re-joined up to serve in Korea but was never assigned there - I do not recall the Korean War at all, let alone as the source of the possible death of a parent.

So, although as a Canadian I always knew my father, uncle or I would never have to fight there, Vietnam ended up becoming my first real war...

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