My World Tuesday: The Submariners' Memorial, Groton, Connecticut

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The second image is a 1996 photo of my great uncle, Allan Isbell, pointing to his brother Laurence's (top) name engraved in the Wall of Honor at the WWII National Submarine Memorial in Groton, Connecticut.

Uncle Laurence joined the Navy shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Too young to enlist, he nevertheless went after receiving his mother's reluctant blessing. She knew he was going; she would send her love with him though her heart broke. Laurence was Ship's Cook Third Class on the USS Herring, which U-boat the Japanese sunk from land on what was to be my uncle's last tour.

My uncle never got over the loss of his brother and best friend. He spent the years after his retirement searching for other submariners who might have known something of his brother's service. He'd go to various Naval events commemorating the submarine service in the hope of finding someone who might be able to fill a gap in his brother's story. I have copies of the letters he sent and received. Though his search was unfruitful, he received many kind, dignifed replies that touch the heart nevertheless. When I read them, I find I understand honor, integrity, and loyalty as I never otherwise could. God bless you on this Veteran's Day.


My World Tuesday

Comments

  1. that's right tomorrow is veteran's day isn't it. I honor all veterans for their service...regardless of the stupidity of any war.

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  2. Anonymous2:43 PM

    What a heartwarming entry, very fitting for tomorrow's commemoration of the veterans who served this country, my father was one.

    Happy My World day.

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  3. War memorials break my heart and inspire me at the same time; thank you for sharing these, and your uncle's story. Wars end sometime but love and family go on forever, thank God.

    RIP Laurence (you cutie!) and God bless you, Uncle Allan, and you too Sandy.

    A blessed Veteran's Day to you all.

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  4. Anonymous3:35 PM

    Your story gave me chills. My uncle also enlisted underage, and was killed in battle on Okinawa. My Dad, his brother, mourns the loss still.

    Thank you for sharing such a deep and personal part of your world.

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  5. When the old one's die,
    I seldom cry.
    It's time.
    But who can count the cost
    of a young one lost?
    The greatest sorrow is for
    what might have been.

    What memories might the brothers have made together? What woman would have been loved, children born to them, family Christmas's shared with them?

    It's a rainy day here. Rainy days always make me a bit more cerebral. I have a tendency to lock myself up in misty thoughts. I may be thinking about your story, your photographs and the ravages of ward for a while today. They are very touching indeed.

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  6. That is so very sad.
    War is just so destructive. Even the victors lose.

    Great post and memories.

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  7. Memories as such are sad.

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  8. I used to live in Groton, CT. My ex was also a submariner. . . I wonder what year they built the memorial as I don't remember it. I was there in 67-69.

    What a beautiful tribute to your relative.

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  9. Anonymous7:45 PM

    Memories like this are sad. I remember my grandpa again..Posted mine, HERE. Have a great day! And nice to view your world today!

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  10. Oh my I didn't realize it either until just now. Well I know what I have to post for tomorrow. My son-in-law is Army. So I better make a post.

    This is a wonderful share Sandy. It's sad what war does to the men and women who are soldiers.

    I know Bill was completely depressed when he retired after Desert Storm. Now he is in the Guard and what a difference it made for him.

    Thanks for sharing your Uncle's story and also for your very generous support of me as I am learning!!
    God Bless you and yours!!

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  11. this is so touching.
    this morning before i left for work i was listening to paul harvey and he talked about iwo jima...it made me cry. thank you for sharing this with everyone. i think we need to remember what makes us strong and what we as a country have been through...too often we forget those who fought.

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  12. Anonymous8:33 PM

    hi, sandy! that war really brought with it so much pain... i understand how your uncle felt and must still feel about that part of history.

    my grandfather was in that war, too...

    i also met 1 japanese war veteran who shared how sad he still is about that war. he apologizes to all filipinos and americans he meet. :(

    your uncle was really brave to risk his life for so many people. he sounds like a really cool guy and obviously, many people miss and love him even after his life.

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  13. What a beautiful tribute ... and yes, this is a wonderful message of honor, integrity, and loyalty ... bless our troops, those in the past, and those serving our country today. Peace, JP/deb

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  14. Anonymous9:07 PM

    A good and fitting post!
    Well done, Sandy!
    Cheers, Klaus

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  15. Sandy: that was a wonderful remembrance of your uncle on Veterans Day.

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  16. Nice tribute post for My World & Veterans Day.

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  17. Nice post and memories. The Japanese War killed many people. My country was invaded by the Japanese for 3 years and my grandfather almost died in the hands of the Japanese soldiers. Faking death saves my grandfather's life. Happy Tuesday.

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  18. They deserve the honor... My grandfather was one of them, too. I salute to them.

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  19. Would you please look at the post I have for My World and tell me exactly what rule I broke that caused my link to be removed.

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  20. Anonymous11:22 PM

    This was a very touching post for veteran's day Sandy.

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  21. A wonderful tribute for veterans day

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  22. Very significant post, Sandy.
    Great and important commemoration.

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  23. Anonymous12:45 AM

    What a touching post. Thanks for sharing this very personal story.

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  24. My grandfather was head engineer on a merchant boat during WWII. He survived the war but his best friend did not. My grandfather has always been very grateful for the protection the Americans gave them. Without that, no merchant ship might have survived.

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  25. Very personal my world and such an apt time to post it.

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  26. Sandy,

    Very moving post. Great tribute for today..

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  27. This is a beautiful post for today. It really touches your heart. If only we could end wars.

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  28. Its a sad story! I always think of what could have been without all the wars all the children that would have been born. They would have made such a difference to the world.

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  29. My thoughts today are with all who have died in war, to those who are injured, and all those serving for their country.
    A beautiful post.

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  30. Poignant post. Thanks for sharing.

    My part of the present world is here:
    http://indicainq8.wordpress.com

    Cheers
    - celine

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  31. What a historic picture. I love it. My grandfather and many of my great uncles were also in WWII. Though they never really talked about their travels. They have all passed on but I think of them often. Thanks for sharing.

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  32. it's good to commemorate the war veterans and all the soldiers who dedicated their lives for the many.

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  33. my father in law served during WW2 too..

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  34. Indeed and God bless all our veterans today... peace - D

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  35. So sad, Sandy, for your dear Uncle. Perhaps your post would yield some information that could help him know more, if he is still alive. This is a meaningful post, honoring the veterans today. Thank you for posting it. I also was sad to read Wren's comment about her uncle killed in Okinawa and her Dad still mourning that loss. Both stories were very moving.

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  36. We've all lost loved ones haven't we. Thanks for sharing the story of your Uncles on this day of remembrance.
    Hugs and blessings,

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  37. Thank you for posting such a powerful and moving and thoughtful post about your Uncle.

    "Lest we forget"

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  38. Great Veteran post. :) I would love to go to the wall. :)

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  39. It must have been hard for your uncle searching through so many years in hope of news of his brother and friend.
    This is one very heart-warming entry for Veteran's Day.

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  40. A very touching story, Sandy. But we will remember them, never fear.

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  41. Anonymous8:24 AM

    A very moving tribute. Veterans deserve sooo much more respect and honor than they receive.

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