Who remembers December 7, 1941? Some of us were playing in the yard in Ralston when we were called in to listen to the radio when the attack on Pearl Harbor was occurring. Our lives were never the same after that day. Similarly, we remember other days. I was home with a cold and everyone else was gone when the news came on the radio that FDR had died. I had just finished the oral exam defense of my doctoral dissertation at the U of Michigan when I stepped out into the other room while they voted and discussed my plight when the secretary said, the President (JFK) has just been shot. I immediately returned to the exam room, interrupted their deliberations, and broke the news. Several of them had held high positions in the Kennedy administration. My exam was over. Not another word. Just a somber, dark and heavy pallor over the group of distinguished economists. It was ironic that their student was the one to break the devastating news to them.
Our brains are seared with the landmark events of our lives, which forever haunt us with sadness and forever permeate our perspective and respect for life and remind us that our existence is temporary, often fraught with fear and disaster, but still blessed with a new day, a new sunrise, a new appreciation for the beauties of the earth and of the sky.
I soon became ill after that December 7 day, and spent three and one half months home in bed. A little radio Dad was throwing away was sitting on the shelf. I tinkered with it, took out the tubes and replaced them, and behold, it worked. That radio became my lifeline to the War and the world outside as I still remember Edward R. Murrow from the rooftops of London and H.V. Kaltenborn and the somber and fearsome moments of the war. Now we reminisce, and give thanks for all those who sacrificed and for the wonders of each new day.