Though Thelma was born in in Massachusetts, she considers Norfolk, VA., the Outer Banks of NC and the mountains of Sewanee TN, her home training grounds. A member of the Mystery Writers of America and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, she writes novels of espionage, psychopaths and human trafficking. She is a former Executive Management Consultant, poet, dramatist and book reviewer.



Few of us have dry eyes when we gaze on the stunningly beautiful site of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Pacific Arch and the Rainbow Pool, set between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, are breathtaking. . .

This incredibly moving site, a national memorial dedicated to Americans who served in the Armed Forces and labored as civilians during World War II, the 56 pillars and a pair of mall triumphal arches draw our attention and quiet thanks for all who served. . . the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Coast Guard, all fought and died to preserve our lives here now. The names are visible … of the 48 States of 1945, as well as the District of Columbia, the Alaska Territory, the Territory of Hawaii, the Commonwealths of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin islands … each a reminder of what might have been lost – had we lost the war. . . . . .

I stand in awe of this hallowed place, not only for what it represents, but for the long, deep personal memories it evokes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Those days and nights of “The War” were filled with sights and sounds that remain as long as life. . .

– The sight of the German prisoners, each no older than we were. . . imprisoned in the rear of Navy trucks on the streets around the Naval Base in Norfolk. Were those KIDS the Hated Nazis????

– Whining sounds of air raid sirens at dusk, when Civil Air Patrols roamed our quiet streets at Willoughby Beach, ordering black out curtains nightly.

– The constant we-are-at-war reminders, indefinable yet unmistakable, bombarding our inmost privacy everywhere.

– Collecting tinfoil, conserving food, keeping supplies in the kitchen closet … in case the Germans invaded. . . yes, the fears were terribly real to us on the beaches…

– Daily finding the stuff from ships and sunken submarines… washed up on our own beach … supplies of Nazi food and weapons, uniform shreds, body parts, garbage from the subs with German language stamps. . . .

– Forced shortages – especially gas for the old car. . .

– Entertaining the foreign boys at the U.S.O. dance hall. . . especially the cute French sailors…

– Everywhere, the smells and sounds of W-A-R… and the worry that an invasion would tear down our homes and lives. . .

This September 2, 2014, very few men and women who fought in World War II were able to be present at this year’s memorial service. . . the few who came could not walk on their own. . .

Our eyes were filled with tears, not of sadness but of gratitude, as we watched the sunlight on this exquisite citadel of memory, in the sacred capital of our beloved country.

God Bless America, Land That I Love. . . . .

Thelma welcomes inquires and comments at and



  2. thelma straw

    Thank you, Margaret Mendel, for giving my words re our beloved land a platform, especially at this time where all of us are watching the news by the hour, as untold dangers unfold in this unsettling global site. T.J. Straw

  3. thelma straw

    Thank you, Margaret Mendel, for giving my words re our beloved land a platform, especially at this time where all of us are watching the news by the hour, as untold dangers unfold in this unsettling global site. T.J. Straw

    1. margaretmendel Post author

      It is a pleasure to have you as my guest today. Such a feeling post for these very troubling times. Thank you for being part of this blog.

    1. margaretmendel Post author

      Barbara, so glad you stopped by and read and leave a comment about Thelma’s beautiful posting today!! I think she should write a memoir from a child’s pov about those days. It would make a great read!!

      1. thelma straw

        Actually, I insert some of these thoughts into the mind of my characters in various novels… I use that technique as a way of giving insight into the private thoughts of an individual… and it often is stronger than straight action steps… but not to be overused… that old show don’t tell saw… tjstraw

    2. thelma straw

      Thanks for stopping by, Barbara. I believe we all need reminders more often re a lot of things we take for granted. This week I’ve been watching a lot of the Congressional meetings on C-Span… and realize how fragile our way of life is… so we all need to stand solid and be there for others. Thelma


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