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Weekly Wisdom 12-7-2015

Post Date: 
Monday, December 7, 2015


December 7, 2015

“With no warning the attacking planes came into sight over Pearl Harbor. At 7:55 a.m., December 7, 1941 the first target was hit and by 9:45 a.m. it was all over. Behind them the Japanese left devastation as their aircraft carriers headed home to Japan. Over 2,400 people died, hundreds of planes were destroyed, and a fleet containing eight battleships was ruined. With a single act, Japan woke America to the horrible realities of war.”
Pearl Harbor Survivors Association

     Not many Americans even knew where Pearl Harbor was located on Sunday, Dec. 7 1941, a time when news traveled by way of newspapers and radio. It was still an innocent era in America, a nation only beginning to emerge from an economic depression. People still didn’t have much in the way of creature comforts.
What they had was each other. Back then it seemed like more than enough.
And then came Pearl Harbor when Japanese forces unleashed an unexpected attack on U.S. troops based in Hawaii. It was a brutal act of war in a world slipping into global insanity. The Axis powers of Germany and Italy were attempting to overrun Europe. And now, suddenly, America was also under attack. Who could say what might happen next.

     For those here at home, it was a day of fear and anxiety — two emotions expressed so well in a Sunday column by Don Bolden, the Times-News (of Burlington, NC) editor emeritus and a lifetime recorder of history. On that fated Sunday morning, news about our first “Day of Infamy” was breaking over the radio. It was a family gathering point for Americans of that period.

     And after church that morning, thousands of American families gathered by the small box and listened for any scrap of fresh news in what had become a horrifyingly uncertain time.  Don Bolden was 8 years old that morning. He was terrified.
Americans had every reason to be afraid. Then as now, rumors were rampant. War was a given. But did Americans face an attack on U.S. turf? When? How?
“The adults talked about what might happen following the attack. The main thing they considered was who would be going off to fight that war. What family members would go? What family members might not come back,” Bolden recalled on Sunday. “It was pretty obvious that I was not the only one scared to death.”

     Imagine this happening without the 24-hour news cycle, texting, cell phones…who would you turn to for support?  May today be a day to be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy and the people we love.

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