Letter to the Editor: Irony and honor
In as much as the Sun Advocate published a paper on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day, I was a little disappointed that no mention was made anywhere in the issue of the 65th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This "Day of Infamy" as President Franklin D. Roosevelt termed it, turned the world upside down.
It was an irony that the sole Pearl Harbor survivor in Carbon County, Steve Milkovich, collapsed while attending a Pearl Harbor observance in Salt Lake City on Dec. 7 and died the next day in a Salt Lake hospital.
Tom Brokaw wrote a book not too many years ago titled The Greatest Generation in which he highlighted the men and women who served in the military during World War 11 and then returned to a quiet life, marrying, raising a family and serving their community. Steve Milkovich was certainly one of this greatest generation that Mr. Brokaw wrote about.
I, personally through the years, had many opportunities to talk with Steve, a long time friend. He very seldom discussed his experiences aboard the USS Maryland where he found himself in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Loyal to his miners union, he always discussed the experiences he had with my father when they walked the picket line in Huntington Canyon as they attempted to organize the coal mine there. The only thing he ever told me about the Pearl Harbor attack was, "I was scared." This was understandable for a 17-year old kid with slightly over eight months experience in the U.S.Navy.
The local veterans service units, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War, are to be complimented for the services provided for Steve last Tuesday. Steve was a fixture in the veteran's color guards at funerals, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and other functions through the years.
Surely Steve would of been proud of them as they did the honors for him.