Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Monologue Mania Day #1029 This is No Drill (For Pearl Harbor Day) by Janet S. Tiger (c) Dec. 7, 2016

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Monologue Mania Day #1029 This is No Drill (For Pearl Harbor Day) by Janet S. Tiger (c) Dec. 7, 2016
In memory and gratitude to all who have served - including my father - and for those who serve now.

                                                  This Is No Drill
                                 A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved

              (The flag is seen first, carried by a woman dressed mostly in black, the only color, a flag pin.  She holds the flag and salutes.)

Thank you all for letting me carry the flag today.  I am truly honored.

It is a wondrous event that this day that will live in infamy, still lives is a day that everyone remembers, and even though I was only seven, that moment is still frozen in my brain.

It was after church.  We were having lunch......I was wearing a new dress for the first time,

        (She whirls around, showing off 'the dress')

................a dress bought for a Christmas play we had just performed about the twelve nights of Christmas.

In the middle of everyone eating, right after I had spilled some cherry punch on the white skirt and my mother said, 'don't cry, it's not that important'..... a man ran into the hall and he was shouting.....the pastor quieted everyone and we heard the words of the telegraph sent from Hawaii....
'Air Raid on Pearl Harbor....This is No Drill.....'

It was as if that instant was imprinted on my brain to this day.....the looks on the faces of everyone there.  The shock, the horror, the anger, the fear.....our world changed in the blink of a telegraph....and within the next few months, my father went off to war.....he was so handsome in his uniform.  My mother was so afraid for him.....It was a difficult time.....

            (She turns away for a moment, gets her composure)

The rest of the war is a blur......but we fast forward 10 years, to my graduation from high school, and my parents had given me a special graduation gift, a trip to the big city of San Francisco, with my friends, chaperoned of course, but after the chaperones went to sleep, we snuck out to visit the fun spots.  We were young and all dressed up, and some sailors started to follow us, they may have been a bit drunk, and all of a sudden, there was a dashing young lieutenant.  (Says it with pride)  Lt. Thomas Montgomery.  He gave one look, the other sailors left, and he took my arm and insisted on escorting us back to our hotel.

I always wondered about when people said, 'you just know' about the person you're going to marry, but when I saw Tommy, I suddenly understood.

Two months later, on leave, he visited and asked me to marry him.  I was young and a little surprised at how fast everything had happened.  Then he said, (imitates him) 'So, Jeannie, what's the answer?'  I stammered, 'Are you sure?'  And he went, 'Of course I am!  This is no drill!'

And that moment now froze in my brain!  Tommy had been at Pearl Harbor, one of the radiomen under Commander Ramsey, and had sent out some of those telegraphs on that fateful day.

It was also what he would say to our children when it was time to do something or get into the car....(Barks)  'This is no drill!'   And they would hop to, and we would always smile....

          (She takes out a package, takes a deep breath)

And so, I bring with me today a last request.  The last day of his life, Tommy was mostly asleep, but then he woke up and looked at me, and asked me to bring his ashes here, back to Pearl Harbor, to join those of his fellow sailors.....those who had died that day, and since.

I asked if he was sure.  He looked at me and smiled.....(whispers)  'this is no drill!'

         (She turns to leave, stops, looks back)

Thank you, for all those who served and are serving now.

          (She exits.  Not the end of liberty)


Radiogram reporting the Pearl Harbor attack, December 7, 1941


Originally published Day #298 by Janet S. Tiger This Is No Drill Dec. 7, 2014 


Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315      
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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