I’m sitting here looking around the house and wondering how on earth that two people and three pets can make such clutter? It doesn’t make any sense! Though I am still in creeping crud recovery mode, I do need to find some energy reserves today to get some of this cleaned up. The sky is blue and though chilly, the air is fresh. I may put on a couple of extra layers and throw open the windows to clean out the stagnant air and fill the house with a little outdoor energy.
Iwo Jima Day – On this day in 1945, American forces launched one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, after invading the Japanese island if Iwo Jima. The U.S. Marines’ 5 week assault, which was the first Allied attack on Japan’s home territory, was the accelerant to the U.S. to build the first nuclear bomb. The hope was that Iwo Jima would be a good staging post to launch an invasion of the main islands, which were 660 miles away. Of the 70,000 Americans hoping to capture this staging post, nearly 7,000 died and 19,000 were wounded. The resistance from the Japanese was so fierce, that out of 22,000 defending soldiers, only 200 surrendered, even though they had no hope of withdrawing or getting help. Almost 19,000 were killed, and nearly 3,000 hid in a series of caves that were in the eight-square-mile volcanic rock, and those men continued to attack Americans for months afterwards. The battle of Iwo Jima was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal’s photo of U.S. troops raising the American flag on the island’s highest point, and was the Marine’s toughest fight. Within a week of conquering Iwo Jima, U.S. forces invaded Okinawa in the biggest combined land, air and sea battle the world had ever seen, this time using mostly Army. In all, 183,000 American soldiers, compared to 156,000 U.S., British and Canadian troops in Normandy, landed on the island 340 miles from Japan’s mainland. Fierce fighting for 82 days left 34,000 American and 100,000 Japanese soldiers dead after the Japanese again refused to surrender. Japan also launched 1,465 Kamikaze attacks, during which the pilots killed themselves by steering their planes towards ships with the intention of crashing into them. In the end, America may have tipped the balance of power, but only after three months of horrible battle on the 60 mile long island. It was feared that if the same level of resistance was put up in a larger area, that the loss of American lives would have been far, far larger. Because of this, a decision was made to use nuclear weapons, and on August 6, 1945, only 21 days after being tested, the first atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. 70,000 people were killed instantly, with radiation and burns killing 96,000 more over time. STILL Japan refused to surrender, so three days later the U.S. dropped another nuclear bomb, this time on Nagasaki, killing 40,000 people in an instant. On August 15, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender, telling his people in the first radio broadcast ever that “The enemy now possesses a new and terrible weapon.” This surrender came nearly four years after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, which was what led to America’s entry into the war. The loss of life on both sides was such a huge and horrible price to pay.
International Tug-of-War Day – Do you remember playing tug-of-war in school? I was terrible at it! Alright, confession time, I hated sports of all kinds and ones that ultimately landed me face first in the mud wasn’t going to be high on my list of fun things to do. That and the rope burn were very good deterrents. However it is an old sport, one of the simplest and dates back to ownership disputes over food and clothing. Historically there are legends that go back to the Sun and Moon wrestling over light and darkness. Most cultures have references to competitions of strength that involve pulling in opposite directions, pictures of them can be found on stone carvings, in ancient texts and legends. Vikings used animals skins stretched across a fire pit, and honestly what more incentive would you need? I didn’t want mud, but fire? When tall ships were common on the seas, a tug of war was a common way for the sailors to show how strong they were, using heaving rigging. Tug of War used to be an Olympic event, but was dropped from the games in 1920. I wonder why? It still is a world wide sport though, and many nations have teams. Besides formal competitions, “pulls” are something to see and compete in at fairs and festivals, with spectators encouraged to cheer for their favorite team. That’s where I’m best served – as a spectator.
Single Tasking Day- We live in a hustle bustle world, and there is always so much to do, that we have become people who must be multi-tasking all the time. The more we can accomplish in the shortest amount of time, the better it is. It is no wonder that there is so much stress in our lives! We multi-task at home, at work, in relationships . . . never do we just focus on one thing at a time. It isn’t reality, and it doesn’t work. In all honestly, I find that people who don’t multi-task bug me. It’s not their fault, but it still bugs me. Inefficiency just drives me crazy, and being unable to chew gum and walk at the same time just makes me nuts. Multi-tasking is a necessity in our lives – so people who can’t do it, need to figure out how. At the office we have to deal with emails while on conference calls, at home we are doing laundry while cooking dinner. There is something all of us need to remember though – sometimes single tasking is the most efficient way to go for specific tasks to avoid errors, omissions and delays in completing a task. To focus on one thing at a time, perhaps it would be a good idea to make a to-do list, set up the importance of each task and start down the list getting it all done, one task at a time. Embrace the simplicity, even if it is for one day. Honestly, I couldn’t do it full time, but for one day, perhaps I can make it work.
Food Celebration of the Day –
National Chocolate Mint Day – Chocolaty yet refreshing — what’s not to love about mint paired with the ultimate indulgence of chocolate? Today we celebrate anything and everything that is chocolate mint flavored. The most common treats are ice cream, candies and desserts. For people who love Chocolate Mint, this is a truly wonderful day! Enjoy!
If you’re somewhere that the sun is shining today, even if its chilly out, throw open the windows and let in the fresh air. It is energizing and beautiful. I have some cleaning, book work and celebrating to do! God Bless You and I’ll see you tomorrow!