Wednesday, December 7, 2011

National Cotton Candy Day

My good friend Tory pointed out to me that today, in addition to being Pearl Harbor Day and the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the Hawaiian naval base, is also National Cotton Candy Day. I'd call those two "strange bedfellows," indeed, but I submit it might just be possible to solemnly consider the historic events while savoring a sweet, puffy bite of cotton candy.

Last February my husband and I took our first ever trip to Hawaii. On the Sunday that we were there we visited Pearl Harbor and went to see the sunken hulk of the U.S.S. Arizona. The swirly petroleum rainbows on the surface of the water above the ship (due to the enormous stash of sunken fuel still extant in its tanks) and the lichen and the rust and the sheer mass of the thing--it all attested to me of the sad waste it all was.

Both my grandfathers fought in World War II. My paternal grandfather was a member of the Army Air Corps (later called the U.S. Air Force) and was a pilot trainer, arguably the most dangerous job in the service. (Lots of fatal crashes.) He later spent time in Japan and became acquainted with a General Genda (he often spoke of Genda) who was one of the architects of the attack, and whose name I found figuring prominently in the newly completed Pearl Harbor Memorial.

My maternal grandfather served in the U.S. Army (though he was born in England). He was a cook. He was also at the Battle of the Bulge, a bloody German offensive that the Allied forces deflected successfully near the end of the war. has free access to WWII records through today. I found their enlistment records. It is good to think of them as young and brave and willing to defend freedom--my freedom and the freedom of my children to eat cotton candy and to write vapid things on a blog and to write stories and get an education and speak my mind about political matters and to vote and to live my religion and so many other things I can't list.

So, today I'll go over to the dollar store and pick up a bag of spun sugar and appreciate the sacrifice it represents.

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