Les Palmer remembers December 7, 1941 as a bright, shiny Sunday before the idyllic mood was suddenly shattered by the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Les had a paper route so he was well informed about how the war was progressing in Europe, but an attack on American soil came as a devastating shock to him.
A Shock but Not a Shock
I can close my eyes and I can actually see the scene of where I was on December 7th. In our house, we had a stairway that came down parallel to the living room, and the railing, it was open so you actually look into the living room. And I was halfway down the steps and the radio was on, and I stopped and looked over the rail, and I heard the broadcast that Pearl Harbor had happened. I still remember that it was a bright, sunny afternoon.
How did that feel?
Well, to a kid… I wasn’t afraid; it wasn’t being afraid or anything. I suppose shocked would be what it was. It was very surprising that this happened, but also realizing that things were happening, and you knew that they were happening. So it came as a shock but not totally a shock. I don’t know how else to put it.