By Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are having a good week.
Due to various reasons connected with the Christ-mas season, I’ve had to re-schedule two interviews until later so this will be a regular column.
It’s hard to believe that it has been 72 years since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. I’ve heard it said that everyone can remember where they were on 9/11, or when Pearl Harbor was bombed, when Roosevelt died, and when John Kennedy was shot. But, honestly I only remember the last three because as a grade school kid I didn’t even know Pearl Harbor existed or where it was located.
What none of us realized then was that our world would never be the same after that Sunday morning and over a half million young American men and women would never live to go to college, get married, raise a family or see a comfortable old age.
In retrospect I don’t agree with most of FDR’s social programs, but it’s hard to believe anyone at that time could have mobilized the country any better. The draft had been in effect since 1940, but on Dec. 8, after FDR addressed Congress and asked them to declare war, all over the country young men were lining up at recruiting stations to enlist.
Entering the service from the Water Valley business community were Herald Editor Jack Dale followed by Buck Suratt from McCullar-Suratt, Paul Parker from Parkers, Jasper Barron from Peoples-Wholesale and others as the war went on.
Many high school students dropped out and enlisted. I knew three: Harry Martin, Bacil Hartsfield, and Wade Doolin, who went off to serve and and then came back after the war and got their high school diplomas. I had a class with Harry. He married Engineer John Goodwin’s daughter.
I had the honor of interviewing three World War II Veter-ans: Chester Joyner, Dudley Kelley, and Wade Doolin. I’m hoping to arrange an interview with Barney Pullen after Christmas.
I would have liked to have named all of the young men from Yalobusha county but the constraints of space make it impossible. If any of you have a relative or friend who is a veteran of that war, please email me at email@example.com or write me at P.O. box 613189 Memphis, TN 38101 and have a Merry Christmas.