For My Mother and Father on Their 65th Wedding Anniversary
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[Annapolis, Maryland, June 8, 1945]
Today would have been my mother and father’s 65th wedding anniversary. They were married on June 8, 1945, in the United States Naval Academy Chapel, at Annapolis, Maryland.
Dad, together with his classmates, graduated from the Naval Academy two days earlier, on June 6. Within an hour of their graduation, the newly minted naval officers began to marry. The Chapel handled as many as 25 weddings a day, as did the local churches, for the balance of the week.
Honeymoons were very short-lived. The young ensigns had their orders and, in just a few days, they were on their way to the west coast to meet their ships. The war with Japan showed no signs of ending soon, and preparations were being made to invade the Japanese mainland.
The “assembly line” marriages that took place at Annapolis (and West Point) during the Second World War were all part of a long-established custom during wartime. There is something about wartime that compels servicemen and women to marry before they “ship out.”
Not coincidentally, my father and many of his classmates became fathers for the first time in March of 1946.
Mom and Dad were married 59 years. They made mistakes, but they did their best. Mom nursed Dad the last ten years of his life and earned my eternal admiration and gratitude. I could not have asked for better parents.
[Historical note: At the time of their marriage, my parents were not aware that Dad's little brother, Sam, had been killed on Okinawa eight days before. They were to find out two days later. Please see my previous upload.]
Thanks for stopping by!
[My thanks also to JPG for allowing me to upload a photo I did not take, which has made possible this personal essay]
Also by Richard Knight
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