Memorial Day

My grandparents, on both sides of the family, participated in World War II.  My maternal grandfather, Harold, was in the Navy, serving in the Pacific.  He survived a bomb attack that destroyed his ship, and was one of the first to touch ground in Okinawa.

My paternal grandfather, Ku Pan, was a pilot (eventually a Major General) in the Chinese Air Force.  He flew over 120 missions during the war, and spent some time training on a base in Pueblo, Colorado.  I’ve been looking at his graduation certificates this morning.  He loved America like crazy, and our food.  Especially hamburgers.

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My grandmother, on the far left of this photo.  During the war she worked at a factory that made bullets.  And there they are below, my grandparents: I love that shot of them.

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Here are some photos of my paternal grandfather, Ku Pan Liu.  In the second photograph, he’s the gentleman on the far left.

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My maternal grandmother didn’t fight in the war, but she survived it — which to me, is just as amazing an achievement.  She was in China during the invasion, and if there’s one story I’m going to write someday, it’ll be hers.  She’s the woman on the left in the photo below, along with her two friends, Wu Yi and Zhang Yi, both of whom were with her during the war.

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I suppose this is said a lot, but it bears repeating:  We owe so much to these people who lived and died for us.  The past feels far away, but it isn’t.  It is immediate, it is alive, and it must be remembered.  The present must be remembered, as well.  All the sacrifices those in service make for us now, and will make, must be honored with gratitude, compassion, and dedication.

Shame on us, if we don’t.

Happy Mother’s Day!

I have a beautiful, wonderful mom, who is my best friend.  She’s a total adventurer, fearless when it comes to trooping across the world, and she has the kindest, biggest heart of anyone I know.  Her love and support is the reason I made it this far.  Happy Mother’s Day to her (which should be every day).

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Astro-Zombies!

We were in Albuquerque last week, a place that I love (along with the rest of New Mexico), and wandered into an amazing comic book store called Astro-Zombies.  I was just going to admire and run — but then I got totally outed — and the folks who work there kindly invited me to sign their ceiling.  I was honored to be asked (but muttered as I climbed the ladder, “I should have worn jeans.”).

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Here I am with “Will-vorine”, a total sweetheart. Many thanks to all the great people at Astro-Zombies.  You were incredibly kind.

PS:  The great black and white photo was taken by dear friend and professor, Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez.