I want to honor my father and mother on Memorial Day. My father, Jack Zimmerman, was a Pharmacists Mate 1st class in the US Navy. He was assigned to Hawaii, to Oahu, the hospital that sits next to Pearl Harbor. My mother worked in civil service at Ford Island, in Pearl Harbor, with the US Navy.
Both my parents were there when Pearl Harbor was hit by the Japanese, December 7, 1941. My father was on duty at the hospital that morning. My mother was asleep in their bed. A Japanese Zero went roaring down the road, strafing her neighborhood. She had a bullet pass just above the headboard of the bed where she was sleep.
That day, my parents helped all the heroes who were caught off guard by that horrific attack on battleship row, next to Ford Island. If it hadn’t of happened on a Sunday, my mother would have been on Ford Island, in one of the hangars, working as a secretary.
I grew up with the story of Pearl Harbor from a very different perspective than most of the Great Generation and Baby Boomer Generation remember. I have the blood of the battle in my DNA. And I never forget what they did that day, the sights, the sounds, the nauseating smells, the diving Japanese fighters like hornets swarming over Pearl Harbor.
It’s no wonder I grew up and at age 18, went into the US Navy to follow in my father’s footsteps. My mother’s brother, Vinton Cramer, served in WW2, US Army, was a paratrooper and dropped in over France to do his duty.
US Navy boot camp photo of me. I followed in my father’s footsteps and paid my service to my country, as he and so many other of our family, had done in past wars. My war was Vietnam. And it’s no wonder that later on? I became a writer and I created the first military romance, Captive of Fate, 1983, Silhouette Special Edition. I have gone on from that day to the present, writing about our heroic men and women in 185 books, since then. And will continue to do so until it’s my time to cross over. Our military is 1% of our nation. They give the other 99% their freedom. Let’s honor their sacrifices, as well as their family’s sacrifices on this one day of the year. Memorial Day is NOT a holiday. It was created as “Remembrance Day” to honor those who died serving their country.
Let us remember those of our family, both on our mother and father’s side, of the service they gave to our country to keep us all free on this one day out of the entire year.
My mother Ruth Zimmerman (left) and my father, Jack Zimmerman (right), USN.
and me, in the USN as an 18 year old, boot camp photo