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December 7, 1941 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor is a day the many older Americans shall never forget. The day after the attack President Franklin D. Roosevelt strapped his steel braces onto this legs and walked into the U.S. House Chamber leaning on his son Jimmy’s arm. F.D.R. was seldom seen out of his wheel chair because of polio he was unable to walk or stand alone. However, on this momentous occasion he was assisted in walking to the podium to address the joint session of Congress and ask for a declaration of war against Japan. This is when he made the famous “A day which will live in infamy” speech.

That was a very important date but one of more importance to this writer was August 6, 1945. This writer was on a train going across the plains of Kansas as a soldier returning to Camp Cook in California from a short furlough in Louisiana prior to the invasion of Japan. My army division had been brought back from Germany and Austria to train for that invasion. It was an accepted fact that a half million Americans would lose their lives in the initial Japanese invasion.

Across the train car a civilian was listening to a portable radio, which was very rare and larger than a shoebox. The man jumped up and hollered that we had dropped an atomic bomb on Japan and totally wiped out the city of Hiroshima! As the passengers crowded around the man to get more information there was none. We had no knowledge of the size or what an atomic bomb actually was. The radio reporter said it could be the size of a golf ball or as large as a boxcar.

 

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