I looked up from the newspaper and said to Frances, “December 7 is Pearl Harbor Day.”

She picked up yesterday’s paper, walked over and dropped it in the recycle box. “Yep, 1941. Pearl Harbor was bombed. My folks got married eleven days before it happened. I remember Mother telling the story.”

I said, “There are times when I can remember exactly what I was doing when certain things happened. Recently, it was ‘9-11,’ before that, the Kennedy assassination’ and before that, it was the bombing of Pearl Harbor.”

Frances joined me on the couch and turned to me, listening. I told her my Pearl Harbor story.

I was eleven years old and had just come home from roller-skating at the indoor rink with my older sister. My grandfather, who lived with us, was pacing and the radio was on.

Even though twelve of us lived under that roof, the house was strangely still.

I stopped near him and he said gravely, “The Japanese just bombed Pearl Harbor.”

Pearl Harbor?

Slowly, Granddad went on, “We’ll go to war with Japan.”

I knew my grandfather was upset, but it didn’t seem all that important at the time. I was more interested in when we’d have dinner.

As I grew older, I began to realize the seriousness of the situation.

James (Nov. ‘14) adds, “There are even a lot of little things that happen in my life that I never forget.”

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