NOTE: The following true story was written by my father, Giles Parker. His father, Alvin, was part of the “Greatest Generation”. It is a wonderful Christmas story that I wanted to share with others. Enjoy and Merry Christmas.
A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER
By Giles Parker
As Christmas 1945 approached, there was an excitement throughout the country far beyond the normal holiday spirit. THE WAR WAS OVER! It seemed there truly was peace on earth. In the papers, on the radio, and over back fences the topic was the same—“the boys will be home for Christmas.” Even though I was only five years old and didn’t understand exactly what was going on, I remember the feelings. In my family the story of that Christmas has been told and retold over the years, so perhaps some of my memories come from the telling. But I have very clear memories of how it felt and of the emotions and excitement playing out around me. I think that’s the way it is; our strongest memories are related to feelings and emotions.
To understand the intense emotions of that Christmas season, we need to look at what people had been through during the previous four years. Individual experiences influenced millions of families and those influences came together that holiday season to magnify and focus emotions beyond what most of us today can imagine. It was the collective experiences of those war years that made December 25, 1945, a Christmas to remember. Read more of this post