For My Mother and Father on Their 65th Wedding Anniversary

Uploaded 8 Jun 2010 — 46 favorites
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© Richard Knight
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

[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]

78 responses

  • Michael F. OBrien

    Michael F. OBrien said (8 Jun 2010):

    Lovely story, Richard.

  • Debrah Leonard

    Debrah Leonard (Deleted) gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Beautiful tribute.... what a lovely wedding gown!

  • eithne mythen

    eithne mythen gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    What a beautiful couple they were, the dress is stunning, a very nice tribute Richard..

  • dana iordan

    dana iordan gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    touching and beautiful!... and amazing dress

  • linda woods

    linda woods gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Hi Richard. A beautiful tribute to your parents, for sure!

  • Karen K Smith

    Karen K Smith gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    great tribute Richard!:)))

  • Thad Zajdowicz

    Thad Zajdowicz   gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Marvelous photo and a great tribute to your parents. Bravo Zulu to all of you.

  • Litz Go

    Litz Go gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Your mom poise and elegance was shown early on.So was your Dad. A very lovely couple. A great tribute and memento. Happy anniversary!

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (8 Jun 2010):

    Thank you, dear friends. My sister was married in that dress (1978), and my younger daughter is getting married in that dress this fall. That's the same dress my mother war when she was "May Queen" at Averett Junior College (Danville, Virginia) in 1940. I think my mother said she paid $15 for it. I guess the family got it's "money's worth."

  • John Tanner

    John Tanner said (8 Jun 2010):

    What a fine looking couple and a wonderful tribute as only you could do it my friend.

    Glad you're back !!!

  • Bruce Miller

    Bruce Miller (Deleted) gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    I can understand why the urge to marry before heading off to war... to have someone to depend on while facing a long terrifying and uncertain situation wold bring some solice. Is yor mother still alive Richard?

  • Dianna Rojas

    Dianna Rojas gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Wow such a treasure , That is the most beautiful wedding gown I have seen in a loooong time.

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (8 Jun 2010):

    Thanks, John and Bruce. My mother is still alive, 86 and going strong. She brings much joy to the three generations below. Thanks for asking!

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Wonderful memories in your writing and in the beautiful portrait...Great tribute!

  • Camille Susak

    Camille Susak gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    This has to be one of the most beautiful, elegant portraits-wow-that dress-fantastic Richard!

  • Jüri Vissak

    Jüri Vissak gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Beautiful composition and tones!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Classic.

  • P. Michael Bodigor

    P. Michael Bodigor gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    A beautiful photograph accompanied by a great story. I'm very glad you are back.

  • dana iordan

    dana iordan gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    and I'm back for another look : )

  • daniele castellucchio

    daniele castellucchio   gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    great... great ... great!!!

  • Michael Ball

    Michael Ball gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Wonderful story and tribute Richard!! A very beautiful portrait of them together!!

  • peggy maguire

    peggy maguire said (8 Jun 2010):

    Beautiful story Dick,glad to be back to normal!!!!And I love the dress!!!!!

  • david ong

    david ong gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    so touching, and thanks again for sharing Dick.

  • William Tracy

    William Tracy said (8 Jun 2010):

    I'm curious how you took this picture.

  • elfriede fulda

    elfriede fulda gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Oh what a wonderful tribute,,,a lovely couple , very elegant, exquisite dress...

  • Don B

    Don B (Deleted) gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Superb...Glad you're back!

  • Linny Bee

    Linny Bee gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    what a handsome couple! great tribute, richard.

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes   gave props (8 Jun 2010):

    Such a beautiful tribute, Dick. So....good to have you back. Missed you.

  • Maria Mutch

    Maria Mutch (Deleted) gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    As has been noted: that's one great dress! I like their expressions. And I especially love what you wrote--such a fine tribute.

  • Christopher J Chalk

    Christopher J Chalk gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    A beautiful wedding image of your parents Dick! Lovely tribute to your Mum & Dad.

  • Carlo Pagan

    Carlo Pagan gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    Magic moment, magic shot!!

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece   gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    What a beautiful photo and story about when they married. LOL about the babies coming in March, 1946 : ). This is a beautiful tribute to your parents!

  • JamesHarmon McQuilkin

    JamesHarmon McQuilkin   gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    Welcome back!

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    My sincere thanks to all of you for your gracious remarks!

  • Kathleen Mercado

    Kathleen Mercado (Deleted) said (9 Jun 2010):

    BEAUTIFUL!!!!:)

  • Kathleen Mercado

    Kathleen Mercado (Deleted) said (9 Jun 2010):

    So sorry I didn't see this until today...:)

  • JanElle

    JanElle   gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    A beautiful photograph and wonderful tribute! The dress is amazing. This is really lovely!!

  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    Such an endearing photo Cousin. I too, love the dress..... how wonderful to have it passed around in the family. Thanks once more for your wonderful way with words and how you tell the story. And I enjoy the touch of history you always add!!

  • Bill Van Gelder

    Bill Van Gelder gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    A beautiful photo and a nice tribute!

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    It was a very scary and confusing time for them. What a beautiful photo of the young couple starting life together in such circumstances. Thanks for sharing, Dick!

  • Winky Vivas

    Winky Vivas (Deleted) said (9 Jun 2010):

    An outstanding image and story. Very well done, indeed...

  • jen bellefleur

    jen bellefleur gave props (9 Jun 2010):

    you are both a wonderful storyteller and romantic! and, surprise: i, too, want the dress!!

  • Tori Lindo

    Tori Lindo gave props (10 Jun 2010):

    Beautiful!

  • Carol Arntsen Masiak

    Carol Arntsen Masiak gave props (10 Jun 2010):

    beautiful photo and tribute!

  • Maurie A

    Maurie A gave props (10 Jun 2010):

    Oh my, what an incredible "love" story!! Thanks for sharing.... and YES, I Love the dress as well :~)

  • Chris Sanford

    Chris Sanford (Deleted) gave props (10 Jun 2010):

    A very touching tribute on your parents anniversary; they must have been great people, judging by their son...

  • Mary Brown

    Mary Brown gave props (10 Jun 2010):

    Richard, what a lovely tribute to your parents on their anniversary. I've really missed your wonderful narratives, and am so very glad that you're back.

  • Julie V McKinney

    Julie V McKinney gave props (11 Jun 2010):

    Aww wow this is beautiful!!!!

  • Suzanne McGeady

    Suzanne McGeady said (11 Jun 2010):

    Hopes, dreams and a wonderful future together is suggested in this beautiful image. And that gorgeous veil is a stunner...as is the wearer! Along with their happiness comes the sad news of your Uncle!! Glad they had the chance to be happy on this day totally unaware.

  • Lanis Rossi

    Lanis Rossi gave props (11 Jun 2010):

    Wonderul Memories Captured Forever!

  • Maura Wolfson-Foster

    Maura Wolfson-Foster gave props (11 Jun 2010):

    Welcome Home Sir Richard.....what a splendid comeback ~ xo :)

  • Leanna Lomanski

    Leanna Lomanski gave props (11 Jun 2010):

    How beautiful! a fine family tradition...........and a handsome couple.

  • Warren ~Mangione~

    Warren ~Mangione~ gave props (12 Jun 2010):

    A wonderful photo and thanks for telling the story. Well done as always!

  • Rosemarie Ouellette

    Rosemarie Ouellette (Deleted) said (12 Jun 2010):

    Absolute elegance! Great essay to go with it, thanks Richard.

  • Prasanna Kundu

    Prasanna Kundu gave props (12 Jun 2010):

    Beautiful!!!!

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett   gave props (12 Jun 2010):

    Such wonderful memories! Weddings back then had a certain class to them that is not seen today.

  • Meta Oset

    Meta Oset (Deleted) gave props (14 Jun 2010):

    Wow 59 years..wonderful life story and yes, the wedding dress is fascinating. Stunning couple.

  • Lisa Starling

    Lisa Starling gave props (15 Jun 2010):

    Wonderful portrait! I am glad to hear the dress is still with your family! I too am glad they were unaware of his brother's death at the time this was taken. Touching story.

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (16 Jun 2010):

    My sincere thanks to all of you. I am moved by your comments.

  • Sarah Springer

    Sarah Springer (Deleted) gave props (16 Jun 2010):

    Very touching and elegant

  • Charlie Noble

    Charlie Noble gave props (30 Jun 2010):

    A marvelous photo, life and essay. It is wonderful that the dress is still being used, an amazing chain of memories wrapped up in it.

  • Debbie Smartt

    Debbie Smartt said (15 Aug 2010):

    I love the story. It is very touching! The photo is beautiful!

  • Roxana Brivent-Barnes

    Roxana Brivent-Barnes   said (25 Sep 2010):

    Simply wonderful story, I am back to reality!

  • dawn duffield

    dawn duffield gave props (10 Nov 2010):

    Beautiful!

  • Mag TY

    Mag TY   gave props (8 Dec 2010):

    Loved the commentary!

  • Jean Creamer

    Jean Creamer gave props (24 Jan 2011):

    beautiful memories of a love story. Thanks for sharing this.

  • MªTeresa Barreda Royo

    MªTeresa Barreda Royo gave props (5 Mar 2011):

    Excellent ...!! Elegantes padres ,congratulations

  • Merike Mäll

    Merike Mäll gave props (11 May 2011):

    ilus vaadata

  • Carl Kuntze

    Carl Kuntze gave props (11 May 2011):

    Took me a while to scroll down through the comments. Was worth examining all of them.

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (7 Jul 2011):

    lovely memories of Love and respect!!!

  • Edith O'Dell

    Edith O'Dell gave props (11 Aug 2011):

    Lovely photo and touching story

  • Paperini Renato

    Paperini Renato gave props (31 Aug 2011):

    Scroll through the photos of Richard, it's always a surprise, this impressive at first sight. And 'beautiful in its composition and color, but what is the biggest draw her dress, very beautiful and fine. I find it wonderful the idea that it is still used for weddings in the family, I can not wish for more.

  • Kate McCrea

    Kate McCrea said (21 Nov 2011):

    Timeless photo. Wonderful story!

  • Abha Kaul

    Abha Kaul gave props (16 Feb 2012):

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  • Hilda Cox

    Hilda Cox gave props (12 Oct 2012):

    wonderful picture and amazing story !!!!!! so lovely

  • Barbara Kurth

    Barbara Kurth   said (10 Jun 2014):

    What an outstanding and beautiful image of your very attractive parents on their wedding day ! I love old photos such as this ! The narrative was heartfelt and very well written ! This is special, Richard.... (:(:

  • William Moore

    William Moore gave props (2 Oct 2014):

    Lovely photo and words

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