Today marks anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack
Posted: 12/07/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Marlys Weaver-Stoesz
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A copy of the front page from The Elkhart Truth’s December 8, 1941 front page announcing the “U.S. declares war” following the Dec. 7th attack on Pearl Harbor.
The following day, Dec. 8, 1941, the U.S. declared war on Japan and entered World War II.
According to the Elkhart County Veterans Service Office, 321 living World War II veterans in Elkhart County are registered at the office. More could be in Elkhart County, but not registered there.
Dean Warstler of Middlebury said it was scary to learn the U.S. was at war.
In 1943, at the age of 21, Warstler set sail on a ship for Great Britain as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army, later heading to Normandy, France and cities in Belgium.
“I didn’t want to stay here. I wanted to do my duty,” he said.
Warstler recalled particular memories from his three years of service: “living in a field of mud as deep as your knees” for four days in Belgium and running into old friends who were “shell shocked” after serving in Normandy.
Jack Cook of the Middlebury chapter of the American Legion didn’t serve in World War II, but as a Vietnam War veteran, had another connection to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“Every Navy guy learns the lessons of Pearl Harbor,” he said. “Lessons of not being prepared and not being ready for anything.”
Cook said he recently talked with someone else just out of the Navy that said too that officers continue to learn and teach “the lessons of Pearl Harbor.”
After the U.S. had been involved for almost four years, the second World War ended the fall of 1945.