Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Remembering Uncle Marvin Lee

I have December 7, highlighted on my calendar. It's the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. My Uncle Marvin Lee Ferguson died. He was just a kid having the time of his life in the U.S. Navy. I scanned several pictures from my mother's picture albums. Uncle Marvin Lee had sent home to his family in the weeks prior to the attack. 

On that Sunday morning, he was on board the USS California which was one of the battleships in the harbor on that fateful morning. 

It was before I was born so I never met Uncle Marvin Lee, but my mother teared up when she spoke of him.

He was the first soldier to die in WWII in this county.  The local  VFW is named after him.

He has a headstone at the family cemetery near Jasper, but I'm not sure his body was ever recovered. I should have asked my mom, but I never thought to ask.

War is a dirty business. I know there are times when it's difficult to avoid, but the cost is staggering. There are victors, but I'm not sure there are ever winners.

USS California ~ Navy Photograph


  1. He looks like a high school young. I'm sorry for your loss and your post brought tears to my eyes. How hard for your family in those dark days. I kept looking at his photo and then realized why he seems familiar. He looks like one of our Docs at the hospital. They could be brothers. Thanks for the reminder of this historic day.

  2. Senseless, and yet we keep having them. Hard to think of losing someone that young, yet even today we have lost so many.

  3. All deaths hurt the ones of us who are left here. I sympathize with your mother. Our family was crushed when my brother was killed in Viet Nam. He too was just a baby. Soldiers are far away from home and it seems as if they are alone even if there are other soldiers with them. Perhaps that is why it hurts all the more when they die. Conflicts happen but we don't have to like them. At the same time I am supremely grateful for all those who have kept our country free and safe.

  4. I recently watched a special on PBS about the California and the Arizona. It was very interesting and very, very sad. He is, like so many, too young. Thank you for sharing this special story

  5. My father (a German Jew) told us early and often that there are no winners in war. I wouldn't argue.

  6. As you say, sometimes war is a necessary evil but there are no real winners and it is such a waste of lives.


  7. It is good of you to remember publicly your uncle Marvin Lee Ferguson even though you never met him. He was only a kid but a handsome one. How so very sad that he was killed.

    War is so senseless. So many innocent lives suffer or are lost because of it.

  8. When I see pictures of Pearl Harbor victims I'm saddened by how young those fellows were and how so many of them never got a chance to live or even understand what was happening. We must never forget.

  9. A day that will live in infamy, and it has.


  10. wow. The soldiers were all so young. It breaks my heart they never got a chance to finish life by giving it up save others.

  11. Great tribute. THANKS for posting that. We were in Pearl on the 60th anniversary of the attack, it is an amazing feeling of human sacrifice as you stand on the Arizona memorial and read of that day and the terrible loss.

    There are no 'winners' in war, just survivors and memories. I can easily see your mom 'tearing-up' when she talked of Marvin Lee.

  12. Anonymous2:23 PM

    If women ruled the world, there would be NO wars; just a bunch of countries not talking to each other!!


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