After all these years, I can finally agree that history is fun...just don't test me on it. Being a mom of boys has given me a new outlook on alot of things like cars, racing, legos, and also history. Touring a submarine and a battleship wouldn't have thrilled me much before, especially both on the same day, but with the boys things are just different. They liked all the knobs, doors, and "secret" rooms to explore...I liked the panels that labled and explained all those things. However, some things in and of themselves told a story.
The "ship's office" inside the USS Drum submarine was smaller than a standard restroom stall we have today...it held a built in desk, chair, a few shelves on the wall holding pictures, and a typewriter. That room brought tears to my eyes...the stories those walls could tell of men typing letters of importance or leisure...all the while underwater or at least in the water, not knowing if they'd return to the ones they were writing.
The cots they slept on left little to the imagination. Some stacked 3 high with not much room to throw elbows around...and very litlle privacy for most crewmen. The kitchen/dining area was efficient, as it had to be. There couldn't be too many cooks in that kitchen to spoil the food...they simply wouldn't fit! Wonder if the mealtime talk revolved around work or family...maybe a little of both. I would not make a good submarine crew person...the spaces are tight and passages are narrow. The agility required to make it through the doorways and up and down ladders at a steady pace, let alone a rapid one, is beyond my capability. The emergency exits are always up ladders and through little round holes...some things they do get right in the movies. :) Once on the USS Alabama, more stories unfolded before my eyes. The seats that held the men that shot the missiles...the chairs that men sat in while strategizing and plotting the next move...the offices that were used to examine the health and heal the wounds of the crew...the common areas that provided a little of "home" just when they needed it most. If those walls could talk, indeed!
Maybe this history awareness is something all moms of boys come to when our sons are looking for heroes. The first glimpse of heroes for my boys has been from the Bible...Noah, Moses, Sampson, David, Daniel, Jesus...the list could go on and on. They both have their favorites already. But for an everyday hero, where does one turn their sons' attention to? Many are in sports...some in politics...but what about the heroes who lived and possibly died in support of and loyalty to our country? These heroes who lived in cramped quarters...these heroes whose boots and uniforms were of the brand "USA"...these heroes who saluted the American flag and fought for the freedom it stood for...these heroes who still today go where the action is so that the backyard remains a safe place for our children to play. One such hero's story I read briefly about in the air museum. Mike Christian, you can read about him at this web address... http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/c/c083.htm To read the story that brought me to tears, click on the link and scoll down until you see the words "Our Flag-The Stars and Stripes 'Mike's Flag'". An unsung hero among many, I'm sure.
It moves me to grow in my desire to show my boys the world, so that along the way we hear and read about, meet, and possibly even ourselves become everyday heroes.