When I taught my students about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, I always began with the movie, Jaws. After all, what better way to get kids interested in the past than by starting with something they understood in the present, right? By the time we reached the point in the movie where the salty old sailor and the upstart marine biologist were trading “war wounds,” students were enthralled and ready to know more.
Fortunately, it was easy for me to give them more because I was able to provide my kiddos with a real, live Show and Tell in the form of L.D. Cox, my friend and a survivor of that horrible day when the Indianapolis went down, leaving its crew for days in shark-infested waters. Today, L.D. and his story live on in Comanche, Texas, and his friendship with our family has now extended three generations so you will understand that my grandson, Colten Jones, was excited to visit the USS Indianapolis Memorial, “The Final Sailing,” where he located his friend’s name.
If you haven’t had the chance to hear L.D.’s story for yourself, you need to get some popcorn popping and prepare to settle in for a while. It’s a long story and one that will remind you of just what our military sacrifices for all of us.