Sunday afternoon, December 7th, 1941 . . . . . A peaceful day . . . . . Men lounging at home reading the comics . . . or on the golf course . . . . Children at the movies . . . . Mother at work cleaning up the dinner dishes . . . . . 2:22P.M. Washington, D.C. . . . A radio operator takes a message . . . . . Looks at it unbelievingly for a moment . . . . then dashes into his superior's office . . . "Pearl Harbor Bombed -- Manila Attacked".
Yes, it's here . . . It couldn't happen to us . . . But it did . . . OUR men killed in the Pacific . . . . while treachery in the guise of diplomacy sweetly talks of peace in our capitol . . . . Now the kaleidoscopic picture whirls madly . . . . . War declared upon Japan . . Germany . . . Italy . . . Changes of world-wide importance blare from loudspeakers . . . . . .
Contrasts . . . . . Yesterday 1,700,000 in the Army was silly . . . . Now the same man wonders about Japan's army of 3,000,000 . . . . Isolationists, finding their lucrative lecture tours ended become patriots over night . . The naval officer who said we could take the Japanese Navy any Wednesday morning reads of dead classmates . . . . .
All men up to 65 to registered . . . . . All men 20 to 44 to be placed on draft list . . . . Navy to be increased to 500,000 men . . . . Heroic deeds at Pearl Harbor, Manila, Guam, Wake . . . . Penang lost by the British . . . Hong Kong only matter of time . . . Yes, it is here . . . Can't relegate it to the second page of the paper or to the back of your mind . . . . No time now for selfish, petty pursuits . . . No playing with marbles or cutting paper dolls . . . . Time to do man's work . . . Singapore Manila . . . Not the price of eggs . . . or the golf score . . . .
The government is spending $729.00 second . . . . 63 million a day . . . And that is to be doubled . . . . . More contrasts . . . Angry citizen complains about heat in apartment . . . . . . . . Men at Leningrad fight 60 degrees below zero . . . . . Patriotic men engage in defense work agree not to strike for higher pay . . . . Young men die in the Pacific earning less than one-tenth as much . . . . . Labor leader complains of toothache . . . Battle ship captain with stomach laid open by shrapnel refuses to relinquish command . . . . Worker in Akron complains he's working too hard . . . while in Pearl Harbor one bluejacket operates 5-inch gun alone after ten of his crew killed . . . . . But true Americans awake fully . . . realizing that freedom is not free - it must be fought for with full intensity . . It isn't just the service man's war - it's everybody's war.x
xAppeared in the December, 1941 Este Ripples, The South Dakota Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) camp newspaper.