Friday, December 9, 2016
Remembering Pearl Harbor, 1941.
In 1939 Adolph Hitler was well on the way of conquering the European Continent. The superiority of the German army seemed unquestionable as they invaded country after country; Denmark, Sweden, Norway. Then France and the Netherlands were overtaken.
When the German's invaded Poland, an ally of Britain, the British entered the conflict and a full scale conflict raged in Europe. Iceland declared neutrality.
In 1941 a fierce fight broke out in the Denmark Straits - the ocean between Iceland and Greenland which became know as 'Torpedo Junction' - and the new German warship 'The Bismarck' sank the British battle cruiser 'HMS HOOD' the pride of the British Royal Navy.. Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, promptly issued an order "SINK THE BISMARCK" The British Royal Air Force chased down the notorious menace and sank it.
By now the United States had entered the war and Churchill is said to have "slept the sleep of the saved and the thankful" because " there was now no doubt about the outcome of the conflict." It was no longer just a European war but had now become World War II and American service men and women were sent all over the globe. Among them was U.S. Navy man,Del Herman, who proposed at our second dance and I accepted even though he didn't speak Icelandic and I knew about handful of English, truly it was "love at first sight"...It lasted for 70 years. He passed away in February 2015.
I have been asked; "What was it like, to leave your family, your country and, even your language?" Frankly when you are in love nothing else really matters, at least that's the way I felt. As I reflect back I think having several children - ten total - kept me much to busy to have any regrets or doubts. At age 28 my husband felt a call for the ministry and I became very busy with children's ministries and church in general. Building, and starting several small churches in central Illinois we traveled quite a bit.
Although I did get a few remarks and unpleasant looks of "OH, ONE OF THOSE WAR BRIDES" most folks at that time had zero clue as to where Iceland was located and I was just happy to talk about my surrealistic, beautiful little country.
Slowly my self-taught English improved, by the help of Readers Digest "It Pays To Increase Your Word Power. Also doing crossword puzzles, which, I admit I am addicted to even to this day :-)
Life wasn't always easy, but it was good.