Pearl Har­bor brought sur­vivors’ fam­i­lies to­gether

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Max Siegel­baum

Seventy-five years ago, when the Ja­panese sur­prise at­tack on Pearl Har­bor be­gan, Ed Frause ran shoe­less across the glass-strewn deck of the USS Ten­nessee to join the fray.

Years later, he would show his son a pic­ture, from his ser­vice days, of a swim club he formed with a few of his friends.

“He lost most of them,” son Craig Frause said.

To keep such his­tory alive, to pre­serve the mem­ory of Craig’s fa­ther and to meet peo­ple with back­grounds sim­i­lar to theirs, Craig and his wife, Shee­lagh, joined the Den­ver chap­ter of the Sons and Daugh­ters Pearl Har­bor Sur­vivors.

Decades later, the Den­ver chap­ter has dis­solved and other chap­ters of the as­so­ci­a­tion are fad­ing. The tight-knit bond be­tween the chil­dren of Colorado sur­vivors re­mains, but they are wor­ried that with­out in­ter­est from younger gen­er­a­tions, the tra­di­tion could dis­ap­pear — and pieces of U.S. his­tory with it.

As the sur­viv­ing troops re­turned home from the war, they founded as­so­ci­a­tions and or­ga­ni­za­tions to meet other ser­vice­men and women who lived through Pearl Har­bor. Their chil­dren also started as­so­ci­a­tions, seek­ing the same con­nec­tions. The first chap­ter of Sons and Daugh­ters Pearl Har­bor Sur­vivors was es­tab­lished in Florida in 1972.

“They all had this bond to­gether. … We didn’t all know each other but we also had that bond,” Diane Maglischo, a for­mer Den­ver chap­ter pres­i­dent said.

In Den­ver, the 30-mem­ber chap­ter met reg­u­larly to plan for yearly events such as Me­mo­rial Day pa­rades in Com­merce City, West­min­ster and other cities. When the sur­vivors got too old, the chap­ter asked the Den­ver Ford Model A Club to drive them down pa­rade routes.

“We de­vel­oped re­ally, re­ally strong friend­ships. I think that it’s been a re­ally im­por­tant part of our lives,” Shee­lagh Frause said.

Juanita Pid­cock joined the as­so­ci­a­tion about 15 years ago be­cause her fa­ther was con­cerned that his and other sur­vivors’ sto­ries were be­ing for­got­ten. “As a group, we tried to con­tinue their mes­sage,” she said.

The sons and daugh­ters grew close, trav­el­ing to one an­other’s homes in Colorado Springs, Den­ver and Thorn­ton to cel­e­brate the Fourth of July, Christ­mas and other hol­i­days each year. Pid­cock said her fa­ther rarely talked about the war with his fam­ily. “He talked with other peo­ple, but not with us. For some sur­vivors it just wasn’t some­thing they did,” she said.

Af­ter a pa­rade in Fed­eral Heights one year, a sur­vivor told her sto­ries about his ex­pe­ri­ences dur­ing the war. When he fin­ished, his wife turned to Pid­cock and said, “He’s telling you things he doesn’t tell his own kids.”

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