December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor

I was a youngster. Mishawaka, Indiana. 1805 Linden Avenue. Sunday. The boy came around with the Chicago Herald Examiner newspaper selling from his little wagon. 5 (or 10) cents? With the funnies, me lying on the floor reading “Dinglehoffer and His Dog”, the “Katzenjammer Kids”, and others, cover to cover.

Sunday afternoons was the New York Philharmonic concert. They interrupted the concert with an announcement, “The Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.” That was about 1 (or 2) p.m. our time. WWII had begun. Some (the Beards, historians) later said that Pres. Roosevelt had known it was to happen and somehow invited the attack as a way out of the depression, a way to crank up industry and provide more jobs. I do not know how that issue was settled, that war is good for the economy. But crank up we did. (I vaguely remember listening on the radio to the 1933 convention that nominated Roosevelt. I was lying on a cot in a cottage at the lake during my dad’s vacation that summer; the radio had a crackling sound. I remember his voice, clearly.) Roosevelt was now in his fourth term.

We all went to war. I remember the block organizations, the black-out drills and the block wardens in their white helmets who supervised them, with the help of the Boy Scouts (me) on bicycles, cruising for violators.

It was a war without trenches. Just fox holes. A more temporary shelter.

Since then, the wars have become police actions.

Now a war of preemption. Of choice. And the enemy more diffused. Underground.

Pearl Harbor, 66 years ago. Sometimes compared to 9/11. No comparison, except in its sneakiness.

What are we doing that invites attacks? I know. We are an idea that insults other peoples.

Published in: on December 7, 2007 at 7:20 am  Comments (1)  

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One Comment

  1. I’ll be following your blog. =)

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