You see, uniquely, I believe, among members of the U.S. astronaut corps, Dr. Lucid was born in Shanghai, China, six decades ago.
Quite a journey to her country of birth, after a career that has allowed her to see the entire world in just one glance.
For Lucid, the trip will bring back memories of her unique childhood upbringing. As an infant, in 1943, during the height of World War II, Shannon was held captive along with her parents, aunts and uncle, and grandparents, by the Japanese Army in Shanghai's Chapei Civil Assembly Center prison camp. Shannon learned to walk in early 1944 onboard the Swedish ship Gripsholm, the world’s first transatlantic motorship, which transferred Shannon and her parents back to the United States as part of a peaceful exchange of noncombatant citizens of the warfaring nations. The Gripsholm made its way back to the U.S. via India and South Africa. While in port in Johannesburg, Shannon received her first pair of shoes.
After her family spent the rest of the war years in Fort Worth, Texas, they returned to China, along with her newly-born brother Joe and sister Ann, and lived at times in Shanghai, Nanking and Anking. Because her siblings were frequently ill, Shannon, then four, would join her father on his travels. She recalls constant attention because of her blond hair and blue eyes, and wondering why she couldn’t have "black hair and brown eyes like everyone else." Her father took this as an opportunity for a teaching moment, telling Shannon, "You have to be happy with the way you are. That's the way God created you."
[Edited 2006-09-28 18:55:49]