Dec. 7th. This is one of many Most Memorable Dates in our history, a date that President Roosevelt told Congress, "A date which will live in infamy." And it has. This is the kind of day when people ask, "Where were you?" or "What were you doing?"
This is Pearl Harbor Day. It was on this day, except Dec. 7, 1941, was on a Sunday, that Japan rained down a surprising attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The hope was that it would so decimate the American Armed Forces that Japan would have a clear path to the United States and the world. It didn't quite turn out that way, though.
I'll never forget that line the Japanese Admiral said in the movie about the attack, "Tora, Tora, Tora." He said, "I'm afraid we've only succeeded in awakening a sleeping giant." The attack not only prevented Japan from conquoring the world but it also prevented the Germans who had begun their own world war from winning, too. The attack did indeed awaken the United States.
It was four more years, however, before the second war to end all wars ended. Unfortunately, again all wars weren't ended.
So, where were you? What were you doing? I'd be surprised if very many of us can remember. Most of you weren't even a twinkle in your then very young daddy's eye. But I'm a 30s (late 30s) child. So I should be able to easily answer both questions. Well, I was very young, not even yet in school. I'm not sure if my memory is real, it probably isn't, or a result of what my family told me and from what I've read over the years.
I'm not even sure I had an inkling to what a war was. But my folks had kept the newspapers and I do remember the Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor headlines, but probably not from reading them that day. I think I remember the excitement exhibited by my parents.
What was I doing? Same answer. If I could venture a guess, I was probably outside just being a pre-schooler with my neighborhood buddies. Shucks. If I'm honest with myself, I really have no clue as to what I was doing on Dec. 7, 1941. I can say for sure, however, where I was; I was at home with my family. We undoubtedly spent part of that morning in church; but that would have been a Sunday thing and have nothing to do with the war. Perhaps the grownups upstairs were talking/praying about it, but in the kiddies' room downstairs, I doubt anything was said.
I do have some vivid memories of those war years, however. Perhaps another anniversary or event will give me the opportunity to share them with you. But this is not the time.
So my answer to my questions: I was, but that's about all there is to it.