Friday, November 11, 2016

Thanking Our Vets, Thanking My Father

Every year now for at least the last 6 years, I have attended the Veterans Parade in downtown Media, PA. I think it is one of the best in the country. It usually starts with the roar of the motorcycle engines of the Vietnam Vets. The thrills and chills go on from there, from the young ROTC students to the too far and in between survivors of World War II.  I try to capture as many people that I can because I feel each and every one of these individuals are important to our country.  That being said, I also capture the high school and middle school bands, flag bearers, drill teams etc.  I hope the experience gives these kids a taste of pride and dignity. I will try to upload those pictures by the end of the day.

As a special honor and remembrance, today I would like to share some photographs that belonged to my father. I don't know if my brothers had the curiosity that I did but I was often scanning over these photographs that were stored in the cedar chest in the attic. My father enlisted, much to his mother's surprise when he was 17 years old and joined the SeaBees, a division of the Navy. As far as I know, he did not see heavy combat but he did see and experience a lot around the world. The following photographs were from his time in the Philippines, somewhere between 1942 and 1945

Handwritten on the back of this photograph it says, Philippine Family, this house was built by Seabees.

Perhaps these were more houses or the village that the Seabees would have also built. I'm thinking that is an oxen, a big oxen. I am also thinking all their trees look like bonsai, large bonsai, so perfect.

Until I just now scanned this picture, I thought these were poor little Philippine kids with no clothes. Here they have boxing gloves, the U.S. soldiers apparently were teaching them how to handle the conflict and defend themselves. All I ever saw was little kids like me.

This photograph always frightened me as a child. I thought it was a skeleton of a man. I am still not quite sure what it is and I never asked my father. It may be a very innocent picture but always reminded me of the horrors of war.

I do not know what that is off in the distance but it could be a church, a temple or a garden but it is attracting a crowd,
 this much I can see.

This looks like a dam or a moat of some sort to gather and contain water. I like the sign "Keep Off the Grass". We all have pride in our lawns. I just read the back of the photograph, handwritten it says, Emperor Palace, it sure is beautiful here.

I don't know where my father was housed when he was in the Philippines or even if any of these buildings are still there but this one is labeled   U.S. Navy Naval Operations Base Shanghai.

Obviously, a temple of much significance with beautiful architecture and carvings of special meaning.

This is one fancy looking sail boat.  It reminds me of the cover of a book titled Kon-tiki. Don't ask me why, it just does. It is fabulous looking.

 I am guessing this is Shanghai which I would never have thought it to be such a developed city, back then, little do I know. The bridges, the tall buildings and those boats are just awesome.

This obviously is not a photograph but a postcard, apparently as a 17-19 year old kid my father likes the boats too and purchased this postcard. On the back it is handwritten, Fishing is a great occupation.

Handwritten on the back of this postcard is: This church is over 900 years old. The natives go to it every Sunday. They are all Catholics.

Thank you for your vision in taking these photographs young Jack Lewis (right) my Dad and his brother Sam (left) Veterans of World War II, thank you for your service.

Happy Veterans Day To All That Have Served Our Country. 

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