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Friday, December 2, 2011

Pearl Harbor Reflections One Week Later

Where were you on December 7, 1941, during the bombing of Pearl Harbor? Were you born yet? Had you been "thought of" by your parents? How many years would it be before you were born? Do you know anyone who served in the United States Military during the bombing of Pearl Harbor?
All six of my uncles served in the US Military during World War II: my dad's two brothers, Daniel A. Hollingsworth, enlisted on November 2, 1942 at age 35 and Frank S. Hollingsworth, enlisted in the U.S. Marines on December 11, 1937 at the age of 21 and served through the end of World War II. My dad's brother-in-law, Ralph Slagle, enlisted in the U.S. Army September 23, 1942 and served through the end of World War II in 1946. Ralph reinlisted in the U.S. Army from 1946-1949, and then enlisted in the Army Air Force from 1949-1966. On my mother's side, her brother Cecil N. Gray enlisted in the United States Navy on November 18, 1941 and was released from the US Navy on November 18, 1945. Mother's older sister's husband Ruel E. Snow enlisted on February 10, 1942 in the U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. After World War II, Ruel continued his military service in the Reserves until his retirement in the 1960s. My mother's younger sister's first husband, Melvin E. Gandy enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on December 12, 1945, but I do not know how long he served. He was single at the time.

My parents "had thought of me" since I was born three months and 16 days later in 1942. According to Wickipedia in their Generation article, I was born in the Silent Generation that occurred between 1925 and 1945. We were "generally recognized as the children of the Great Depression. This event during their [our] formative years had a profound impact on them [us]."

The Silent Generation also included my husband who was born ten years earlier. As he told me, he, at age 9 1/2, was living on Rose Street in Islip, NY. He was in the back yard and his dad was working in the garden when his mom came out on the porch and announced that she heard on the radio, "The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor."  I had not thought much about it before, but it is true that wherever anyone was on that fateful day, or even if they had not been born, our world changed drastically on that one day. It really was an "infamous" day in history.

I read last year about my high school choir teacher from Duncan, Oklahoma, Mr. Allen H. Clinkscales, Jr., as a veteran was at Pearl Harbor. Isn't it funny, or strange, that I and maybe none of our classmates knew about Mr. Clinkscales service in World War II? I recall him as my favorite teacher.

He must have been many of our classmates' favorite teacher also since he was voted the most popular teacher at our 50th Duncan High School Reunion 50 years later at Duncan High School where almost 200 of us gathered together to have fun, visit our old school, and talk about old and new times.

This link will show you what he looked like throughout his life including two photographs of him in the United States Navy: http://pearlharborsurvivors.homestead.com/ClinkscalesAllen.html

I believe that important days in our country's history can be thought about on more than the one day the big event occurred. I am certain that our United States citizens thought about December 7, 1941 for many years if they were old enough to grasp the importance of what happened then.

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