Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day GI Love Story

This Memorial Day, I'd like to write about an incident back in March when spouse and I were touring the Rural Telephone Museum in the small town of Leslie, Georgia.

Along with us, the only other visitors were a church group.  The museum guide (you can only visit with the guided tour) was showing us an old time switchboard and demonstrated how the operators would "plug in" calls.

Among the church members were an elderly husband and wife.  The husband mentioned that his wife had been a telephone operator....and then began to tell us the story of how they met.

Simply stated, he was a GI in post war Occupied Japan and his wife was a telephone operator at the historic Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.  They met, and the rest was history.  He looked at her as he was telling this story and the love these two had for each other was so obvious....and touching.

I wondered how it was like to move half a world away to be with the one you love.  That's what this former telephone operator had done.  What kind of life had she led?  Did they have children?  Had life been good to them?

Memorial Day is the day we honor our war dead.  That day in Georgia, I saw an amazing love story that was still ongoing.  Today, although Memorial Day was originally designed to honor Civil War dead, we honor the aging members of the Greatest Generation and other generations.

I hope this man and woman, joined half a world away, have more happy years ahead of them.