V-J Day Postscript: A Dog Named Gus

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Ever since I wrote my first blog, back on September 3, 2015, I have encouraged my readers to provide feedback.  I appreciate the words of encouragement I’ve received, as well as the (thankfully, minor) criticism.  I’ve also enjoyed hearing from readers whose own memories or stories, some happy, some sad, some bittersweet, are prompted by something I’ve written.

In response to my most recent post, regarding the end of World War II, one of my readers sent me the following reply, which I thought particularly deserved to be shared with all of you.  With the reader’s permission, here it is, in full:

“V-J Day is etched on my memory.  I was twelve years old.  My cousin Jacky and I were crossing Riverside Street in front of her house along with our two dogs.  Suddenly, a hot rod bearing a group of screaming, celebrating teen boys, roared over the hill out of Monterey Park.  Jacky and I jumped to the side of the street; our dogs did not.  Both were killed.

Even at twelve, I knew there was a reason for the boys, who were in my cousin Bob’s graduating class, to celebrate.  They had been facing the prospect of wading ashore in Japan to the type of reception American boys had faced at Iwo Jima.

The reprieve was not to endure: within five years, most of the guys would experience being overrun by the Chinese in Korea.

Although I understood it then and now, I still miss that little dog.”

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