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Archive for December, 2012

“Today, December 7, 1941”,  to quote President Franklin Roosevelt, “is a day that will live in infamy”, that the tragedy that became know as World War II  began with a sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, HI, but the Imperial Japanese navy.  It is a day when America remembers the members of the “greatest generation”, those who served in the U.S. military during WW II

If you remember, then you are probably 75 years or older.  Most us that were alive and have a memory of that date can probably remember vividly where they were and what they were doing on that particular day.  For me, I remembers it as a sunny December day and not cold at all with a temp  nearing 50 degrees.  We were living on Queens Creek, WV which I have written about in the past, and had returned from Sunday school and church.  After having Sunday dinner, lunch to you “city folks” I had gone to visit one of our family friends, Luther Curnutte, whom I have written about in the past.  If you have read the Chronicles over the past couple of years, he was the subject of a story regarding a tragic love affair.  He was a great source of stories and information to us younger kids and he and his uncles would provide hours of entertainment for us with their stories of the past.  They owned a battery-powered radio, no electric service on Queens Creek at that time, and would frequently turn it on for scheduled news casts.  You didn’t leave it on all day as you might leave your television or radio on today.  Batteries cost money and money was scarce.  I recall they had a news program, it might have been Lowell Thomas, and the announcement was made of the cowardly attack by the Japanese Imperial navy.

Being only eleven years of age at that time, I really did not understand the significance or the impact that the event would have on everyone; family, neighbors, our country, even the world.  I do remember immediately walking home and pondering these things.  I don’t remember conversations with my family and their observations about the event.  I do know that the Japanese immediately became a hated race among the children of the area.  There was no more “cowboy and indians” with the Lone Ranger and his trusted friend Tonto and their mighty horses Silver and Scout riding to the rescue from indians or outlaws, whichever you and your band of friends might be battling at the time, now you were playing as a U.S. soldier and battling the hated “Japs”.  And I might add no one wanted to play the role of the Japanese.  You might be piloting an American war plane against the hated Japs or Nazis or perhaps dug into a foxhole on some unnamed battlefield with a stick gun pretending to do your part in the war effort.

This was the beginning; the ending of an era and the beginning of another, one which forever after would take us down a road from which there was no return.

I have more that I wish to write but today this is to honor those who served and or died in the greatest conflict our world has ever known.  There were nearly one half million  US  battle deaths and woundings during the period of the war.  To these and to those that served and survived we offer heartfelt thanks.

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