Remembering December 7

 

December 7, 2011 marked the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I was 20 years old and a senior at KSTC.

There had been a music clinic that weekend and many music students were attending the final concert in the City Auditorium. Ben Course, who later became my husband, and I were among those in the filled auditorium. Near the concert’s end, a gentleman entered the stage and tapped a dignitary on the shoulder, summoning him to the wings. A few minutes later he returned to the stage and announced the startling news that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. Silence fell over the audience and they rose as one to leave, talking in hushed tones, pondering the consequences of this grim news.

In Dr. Hull’s class the next day, December 8, via radio, we listened in rapt attention to FDR’s famous “Day of Infamy” address in which he declared war on Japan. Three days later, December 11, Hitler declared war on the USA.

Immediately, the ROTC, comprised of many college men, was called to serve. The KSTC band and student body members accompanied them to the railroad station and, with tears, hugs and music, we saw them off to war. Many would never return. Gone were our carefree college days.

Jane Socolofsky Course BS ‘42

Olympia, Wash.