To the editor:
Dec. 7, 1941; news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that Sunday morning was shock. In college, after Christmas break in January ’41, male students disappeared, signing to train in the Army, Marines, Navy, Army Air Corps. College became a girls’ school.
Domestic changes too: food rationing, gasoline and tire rationing, one pair of shoes per year. The farmers and ranchers had priority stamps allowing unlimited fuel and tires in food production for the military. A fiancé became a fighter pilot, flew from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. Time out for a tropical disease and a leave in Auckland, New Zealand. He was killed in action June 3, 1943, I a widow at 21.
Two neighbors were killed in the European Theater, a pilot friend killed in North Africa. I found the name of a college friend in the Normandy Cemetery in France in June 1981. Jack was a smart whimsical senior, played piano, a good writer. Another school friend joined the Airborne Infantry as he “didn’t like to walk.” Another school friend and paratrooper landed in Bastogne in frigid weather, was out of commission with frozen feet. Older brother’s best friend died on the Philippine Death March.
Mankind’s history is of wars and weapons from the time of the ancient Hittites’ use of iron and before, and better weapons to the present day. That the day will come when we can live together, war a thing of the past, is a goal. Knowing human nature, however, Americans remain watchful.