Sunday, December 7, 1941

by Bill Newman

It was a winter day but my friends and I were able to "go swimming" thanks to the "Y" on High St. A dime was the required fee for the use of the pool, the gym, a locker and I think it even included the use of a towel. There was a luncheonette room but we had all brought sandwiches to eat and might invest a nickel for a drink.

Late in the afternoon we were walking through the lobby on our way out. There was a desk in the lobby, a man sitting at it and a radio playing. As we passed he said to us, "Did you hear, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor?" We walked out the door to the street and then we asked each other, "What did that guy say?" During our walk down High St. to the bus stop we passed more people that told us that "the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor."

During the bus ride home the conversation was about the news. Many people didn't know where Pearl Harbor was, including us or why the Japanese would want to bomb it. At home my father, who kept up with the news from everywhere, explained the events to me.

The next day at school all the talk was of Pearl Harbor. Notices were delivered to all classes telling of the latest developments and the main news that the United States was at war with "The Axis".

None of my friends were old enough to enlist in any branch of the military service, we would have to wait till the following year, which we did. Of the three of us Bob served as a photographer in the Air Corps, Al as a "line stringer" in the Signal Corps and me as a member of a Tank Destroyer Battalion. Bob and I were lucky, Al never made it home.


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