Saturday, February 27, 2010

What NOT to Say to a World War II Veteran

Clayton Jr. High School, Reno, Nevada, about 1967. Band and chorus were taught by Mr. and Mrs. Kneller, respectively. The Knellers were an odd couple, but extremely enthusiastic. They knew how to get even the most introverted kid (me) involved in music.

The Knellers had lived for a time in Japan. Somehow the subject of Hiroshima came up. Mr. Kneller pointed out that I was pronouncing Hiroshima improperly. I pronounced it "Herosheeeema." However, it is actually pronounced "Heroooshima." Being stupid, I went home and told my father (who spent 26 months in the South Pacific during World War II) what I had learned in school that day. Okay, so that was not a pleasant experience! The lecture was long, heated, and certainly a blood pressure pumper. Moral of the story: World War II veterans can pronounce Hiroshima any darn way they please -- they've earned the right -- and I learned a great lesson that day.


  1. Geeez! Glad I missed THAT lecture!

  2. Yeah, it was one for the books, Cheri. I wasn't ALWAYS Dad's favorite!