78 years ago today, my father found himself being shot at atop a hill in the South Pacific.
Thank you Michael. The perfect story for today. I was six in the London Blitz, was bombed, machine gunned in the streets and looked after by my mother, the gentlest soul and father a fire fighter. How they lived through this is hard to imagine but nazi-ism almost won. It was stopped by amazing courage from millions. How can we wake the stupefied public to the fascist danger from republicans today.
Thank you, Michael, for the gift of this story. Many of us in my circle of friends entering the last third of our expected life spans have been contemplating what it means to be elders in this time, culture, and place. Your story is so instructive--for what your father shared with you, for your developmentally-appropriate response at the time, and for the great blank spaces of what may never have been shared. Thank you for all of it, and for the implicit encouragement to take that space, to tell our stories, to create the active and creative moments to put our collective instructive experience to work for change that our younger inhabitants of our planet need from us. How courageous your father was to finally share that horrific and painful story with you, and how courageous you are to carry his story forward. My deepest gratitude to you both.
You are a hero just like your Dad. Thanks for exposing the lies and telling the truth on behalf of your country all these years. Merry Christmas!
Your dad's story is very interesting to me. My dad was drafted into the Army at age 28 & sent to the South Pacific. The night before they shipped out from San Francisco to Hawaii and then to the South Pacific, the sergeant yelled at the group of them, Can any of you #$%s (it was something insulting) type? My dad had a job with a trucking company in NYC as assistant traffic manager, so he raised his hand. He still went to the South Pacific, but he wasn't sent out on patrol. He worked in a tent processing equipment orders. He told us of being on mess hall line and troops in front and behind him being taken out by snipers. His other story was sitting out in the field on one of the makeshift latrines they dug and doing his business when an air raid was signaled, and he said the hell with it and stayed. They bombed and he wasn't hit. He had nothing good to say about war. He was against the Viet Nam War from the get go and influenced me greatly. I was the only student in my HS class in 1967 to raise my hand to the teacher's question, "How many of you are against the Viet Nam War?" I've been accused of being unpatriotic because I was against the Afghanistan and Iraq wars when they started. My dad used to say "War is Hell" whenever the subject came up. He's been gone since 1987 at age 74. And your story about the family moving around Flint when the landlord came during the depression...that was my mom's family's story. They moved around The Bronx. Thanks for all you do to help our country, Michael.
Dear Michael, your precious gentle spirit is so apparent every time you write. And the deepness of the grief over what we humans are doing—and have been doing to each other for what seems like forever—shines through your words. I’m right there with you, sweetheart. My heart, with its 77 years of privileged life, loves you very much. May we together create a New Story as this crazy life unfolds before us.
Thank you Michael Moore for that beautiful story from your dad. We will persevere and live to continue the struggle against ignorance autocracy and stupidity.
Michael, Thank you for writing about the experience of our fathers and grandfathers. My father in law never talked of his experiences in WWII until his mid-seventies, a safe distance of 50 years. He was captured by the Germans in May, 1944 and was moved many times as the war progressed. He recalled his memory of Christmas, 1944 being given stale bread and watery soup, being grateful that he was still alive. As hard as these years of Covid are, I believe they don't hold a candle to what these thousands of men lived through and rarely spoke of. As frustrating, lonely and isolated as the last 22 months have been, we are all relatively safe in contrast to the soldiers of WWII. Thank you for continuing to question the insanity of politics today and being a voice of reason for us all.
Dear Michael, this was just the most stunning piece of writing I have ever read. My heart is absolutely exploding now. Please don’t worry, your Dad knew it would mean a lot to you one day and he is very very proud of you and the movement you lead. God Bless You and Merry Christmas to you.
Michael, thank for your story about your Dad’s service doing WWII. He was a handsome young man. Your story reminds me of my father who has been gone 20 years now. He died from old age in his bed thank God. He also served during WWII in the Philippines. He never spoke about it or what he did during that war, but always hoped and prayed we would never have to go to war again. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. We’ve been in too many. I’m grateful to you for your movies, videos, your activism, these messages, and this community that is being built because of you and all these other like minded people. If we all keep working towards a better world one person at a time I believe we can affect change. One small act of kindness can ripple out and affect so many others. Peace and love to you and everyone around the world.
Dear Michael, On this Christmas Day I'm apart from my own 93-year-old dad and 82-year-old mom. Your story helps bring a little Christmas spirit to us all.
I met you on Third Avenue in NYC in the 90s. My girl friend was the cameraperson on some interview that you did, and she told me to get over there (didn't tell me why). You were just as I'd imagined - regular and kind and friendly to a stranger who was trying not to act starstruck. Thanks for staying the course all these years, and for helping the rest of us do the same. Happy Christmas and New Year's to you and all the people you care about.
What a riveting Christmas story well told. When I see the ripple effects of life after war, I am reminded of how many ripples never happened after the lives of those lost too. In celebration, nothing is more merry than gratitude and presence in this moment. Thank you for writing and sharing. Merry Christmas Michael.
Thank you so much for sharing your dad's story about his experiences. Glad you are staying safe and giving us all so much food for thought. I look forward to emerging from this pandemic to a better world - it will take all of us to participate and take care of each other. Merry Christmas!
Thank you for telling your family story. Your dad’s memory is a blessing. Merry Christmas to you
Dear Michael, what a Christmas memory and story from your Dad. My folks were both Navy but neither in combat zone. We children of these parents of that generation will not accept Nazists but I believe love our Japanese friends. I am touched by your Father's burial of the Japanese war memorials he had. I love your Dad, may he have his peaceful eternity with my folks who are musicians and love to dance, sing and play piano! Be well.
Thank you for this. Thank you for being so alive and caring and attentive and determined. My Dad slouched thru the muds of Europe 1944 - 45. Barely made it home - and only told us kids the "we are all humans together" stories (a young women running into a burning house to bring a treasured wedding photo to a weeping older woman who had lost everyone and everything - the guys in his patrol catching some pigeons and making pigeon stew (fresh meat!) and sharing it with some hungry kids instead of eating it themselves - etc.). The year before he died at 79, he finally told me some of the daily experience of being in battle - what it was like for him (raised as a pacificist, vegetarian - "we don't kill" ) to carry a gun, aim it, shoot. - to see what the result of that shooting was... When I asked him why he had never told any of us those stories before, he explained that when they were mustered out in '46 - they were all told to never speak about their experiences. That no one would understand. To go home and forget what they had been through. And he had tried to do so. I'm so glad your father told you this story. So grateful you have written it here.
Stunning, absolutely stunning AND moving; a reminder of our good luck.