|"You're much too tall to be a sharpshooter,
Johnny. Tell the sergeant you're too tall."
photo Roy Davis
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At school the next day,
they let us listen
to President Roosevelt's speech.
It came at noon.
You couldn't hear a sound in the lunchroom.
"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy --
the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately
attacked by naval and air forces of the empire of Japan."
He asked Congress to declare war.
All hell broke loose.
It lasted five or six minutes.
And then the cry rose from the joint session.
We were at war.
Just like that.
One day the twins were looking
at dress patterns for the Christmas
dance. The next day
we're at war.
The teachers told us
to practice running all the way home
in case of an enemy air raid.
I was never so scared in my life.
What happens if the war comes
right to Louisville and I'm out playing
and Johnny's at basketball practice
and the twins are at Girl Scouts
but they're really shopping down on 4th Street
with their stupid friends?
What if Daddy is at work and can't get home
to help us?
What if Johnny just decides to sign up
on his 18th birthday?
They can't do anything.
Mama'll kill him.
KILROY WAS HERE ...
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