Day After Pearl Harbor
The Day After Pearl Harbor For those of us who were around, there are two days in twentieth century history
that stand out and do so because we occasionally ask each other, " Where were you and what were you doing when the news came about
the bombing of Pearl Harbor?" Also, ".....the news about the assasination of President Kennedy?" There are striking similarities to
the answers to the first question because the day was a Sunday and most people at that time were home with their families and probably
listening to a favorite radio program.
When the news came out about Kennedy, it was a week-day and people were on their jobs, in school
, in an automobile or on their lunch hour at the time. After listening to accounts of the bombing on the radio , we heard the question,
"Where the hell is Pearl Harbor?" Geography wasn't a strong suit in those days. It didn't take long for the significance of the event
to crystallize when we thought about the sinking of American ships at an American Naval base.
Avon High School was an exciting place
the next day. The kids used to hang out in front of the school for about fifteen minutes before the first bell and this day, December
8, 1941, there was lots to talk about. There were all kinds of rumors about the Fifth Column sabotaging the shipyard and upperclassmen
who would be leaving school to join up. The bell rang and when this hanger-outer got to his first class he noticed that Carl Peterson
was not in his seat.Carl had recently turned seventeen and enlisted in the Navy on that day. Later in the day, we heard the most moving
speech of our lives when President Roosevelt gave us two new vocabulary words," dastardly" and "infamy".For us it was the start of
World War II even though England and the rest of Europe had been fighting for two years.