There is one front and one battle where everyone in the United States—every man, woman, and child—is in action and will be privileged to remain in action throughout this war. That front is right here at home, in our daily lives and in our daily tasks. Here at home everyone will have the privilege of making whatever self-denial is necessary, not only to supply our fighting men, but to keep the economic structure of our country fortified and secure during the war and after the war.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s radio broadcast to the nation, April 28, 1942

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

December 8, 1941


DECEMBER 8, 1941

Yesterday, all was confusion.
Today we got out the big map
of the world and laid it flat
on the table so we could see.

We found the Hawaiian Islands.
Pearl Harbor was there somewhere,
but, it wasn’t marked. We saw
Hawaii as a stepping stone.

"Look at Japan," said Mother.
"How tiny it is compared to America.
There shouldn’t be anything to worry about."
Then just after noon, the president spoke...

"Yesterday the Japanese Government also
launched an attack against Malaya...
Hong Kong…Guam…the Philippine Islands...
Wake Island…Midway Island..."

We all went back to the map
and studied the Pacific area.
I learned more geography today
than I have all year at school.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Pearl Harbor photo courtesy FDR Library. Poster stamp from author's personal collection.


Andrea Murphy said...

My father was a marine and fought in the Pacific during WWII. His experiences colored his whole life, and in many ways, the lives of his children. I think your poems are going to speak to SO many people. I'm so happy to see this project developing!

Diane Mayr said...

Thank you for your kind words and your continued support. Don't give up on Pigtails for Pete.