Thursday, February 17, 2005

A Young Boy's Take on World War II

I think I was a second grader, but I wouldn't want to bet even a penny that I'm correct about that. I also think that we second graders learned the Pledge of Allegiance as "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all." Toward the end we held out our right hands toward the flag.

Anyway on a sunny Sunday afternoon I was outside trying to ride a tricycle like it was a scooter. It wasn't much fun. Any time I went inside to get a drink of water I was not allowed to say anything because the rest of the family was listening to the radio. I learned later that they were listening to reports about the Japanese sneak bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was called a sneak bombing because they didn’t declare war first and then start the military action.

We then declared war against both Germany and Japan. And oh, how many changes there would be for everyone in the United States. One of the first changes was that we no longer raised our right hands toward the flag when saying the pledge. Evidently that was too close to the German "Heil Hitler" salute.


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