Gov. Palin: Happy Father’s Day!
Posted by Dr. Fay on June 17, 2012
Governor Palin posted this comment on her Facebook page this morning:
Here is an excerpt from the article that Governor Palin linked to:
When Fathers sent their sons to war
Published June 16, 2012
The only thing more difficult than ordering men into harm’s way is sending one’s own son into battle. It has happened throughout history and continues with men and women today, but rarely have there been more sweeping and poignant father-son experiences than during World War II.
Men in command repeatedly found themselves making decisions that affected a younger generation that included their own offspring. These sons were grown men of fighting age, but at some point each of their steely fathers couldn’t help but mutter a silent prayer: “Take care, my boy.”
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, expressed those worries in a 1942 message and acknowledged the “long periods of silence when your boys will be active at their stations in far places from which no word can come.” Regrettably, Nimitz continued, “there will be losses along the road to victory.”
Nimitz’s own son was in submarines. At the outbreak of the war, Chester W. Nimitz, Jr., was an officer on the Sturgeon operating out of the Philippines. “Boy oh boy!” “Chet” Nimitz later wrote his father after he got his own command, “I get the delicious trembles when I think of my first patrol as C.O.” But Chet’s first sortie with Haddo in March 1944 proved a frustrating experience when torpedoes either exploded prematurely or not at all. Haddo endured terrible depth charge attacks and while the letters Chet posted home were enough to make any father proud, Nimitz shed a private tear or two on those nights when the father knew so well what the son was facing hundreds of feet below the surface.
There was another particularly poignant father-son relationship that extended to a third generation. While Vice Admiral John Sidney “Slew” McCain led fast-strike aircraft carriers against Japan, his son, John Sidney McCain, Jr., captained the submarine Gunnel. Four days after the Japanese surrender, Admiral McCain, worn out by the stress of war, dropped dead of a heart attack. He was posthumously promoted to admiral and twenty-some years later, when his son was also promoted to admiral, they became the first father-son pair to hold the four-star rank. When the junior McCain was appointed commander in chief, Pacific Fleet, his own son, John Sidney McCain, III, a naval aviator who had been shot down over North Vietnam, was a prisoner of war enduring five and one-half years of captivity.
World War II and its inherent dangers and uncertainties took its toll across generations. Some of the sons who were rushed into men did not return home. Many daughters did their part in America’s industries and support roles around the world. There were, as Chester Nimitz intoned, “losses along the road to victory.”
From all of us at SPIB: Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there, including the Palin and Heath Dads, and to your families. And happy Father’s Day to those of you whose fathers left behind cherished memories.