History of america Essay

This essay has a total of 984 words and 4 pages.

history of america







In studying the history of America’s development from a colonial nation to the modern
world power of today, it is necessary to pay special attention to the several major wars
the United States was involved in. These wars varied in severity ranging from “minor”
skirmishes such as the Spanish American war, to more costly conflicts. Costly in terms of
money and loss of life, the Civil War, Vietnam, and both World Wars left lasting
impressions on the people who endured them. These wars often defined entire generations of
Americans. More often than not, everyone alive in each of these major campaigns was
somehow affected in the war. Some served in the military, some worked in the factories
that made weapons, while others had relatives who actively participated in the war effort.
Recently, the topic of World War II has become a “hot topic” for Hollywood filmmakers.
Movies such as “Saving Private Ryan”, and “The Thin Red Line” used graphic scenes of
violence and depictions of the hardships of the average soldier on the front line in ways
previously unseen in prior World War II movies. The goal of the directors was to remind
the younger generations of the bravery and selflessness of the soldiers who served in
World War II. The soldiers in these movies were purposely portrayed as a group of men from
diverse backgrounds who came together to fight for a common cause. These soldiers were
also depicted as average men, not the superhuman men portrayed in earlier films, of which
John Wayne is an example. Yet in these movies, these “average men” were the ones who
committed the greatest acts of bravery. In conducting my interview, I realized that this
depiction was not far off the mark. The subject of my interview was a man by the name of
Richard Albert Lockyer. He is the Grandfather of my girlfriend. He lives in Brewster,
Massachusetts, in a small beachfront community of fellow retirees. My previous knowledge
of his World War II experience was very limited. All I knew was that he served on a
battleship. After interviewing him, I was amazed to hear just how extensive his World War
II experience was, and felt honored to know a man who had risked so much for his country.

Richard Lockyer joined the Navy on Washington’s Birthday in 1942. Much the same as many
others of his generation, he volunteered for service. He finished his military duty on
Christmas Eve in 1945. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Second-Class Quarter
Master. For his service he received six medals. Four were for service in several different
campaigns. One was a Victory medal, and the final medal was for good conduct. I asked him
if this was because of his exemplary behavior, and he replied that he was just good at not
getting caught. His assignment on the ship was standing watch on the bridge for his first
year of service, after which he was in charge of steering the ship for the next two years.
His ship, a destroyer by the name of U.S.S Hambleton received seven stars for battle.

After completing Basic Training, Richard Lockyer was assigned to serve on the U.S.S
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