The Afternoon the World Changed Essay

Decent Essays

On a mild winter afternoon in December 1941, Arthur rode his bicycle through the twisting streets of downtown Everett. He didn't see many people outside. That Sunday, most everyone was huddled around the radio listening to the football game between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

He took advantage of the mild day and figured he'd catch the end of the game once home. He was fifteen and more important things than football were on his mind. His thoughts turned to all the pretty girls at school. The transition from parochial school to Everett high school had stunned him at first. He suddenly found himself surrounded by girls that had been denied him in Catholic school.

He dreamed of dating and marrying down the road. Just …show more content…

With each new flash, his voice rose in a crescendo of breathless horror. Arthur saw his mother staring at him with a sad anxious look in her eyes.

Katherine dreaded this day but knew it would come. Men always find a way to go to war. Her youngest son stood there panting with excitement. She tried to picture a military uniform hanging off his rail thin body but couldn't. Katherine knew the war machine would take away all her boys. She shook her head. How many wars must she endure?

As the afternoon wore on the house filled up. Charles Jr. arrived with his wife Mary. Joseph and James wandered in with their sons and then Maggie with hers. Rich came home and was spitting mad with anger. Katherine saw his clenched fists and knew that he'd be the first to go. She expected that Charles Jr. would go next. At least, Arthur was too young so she could protect him for a while.

The boys were shocked to see their father walk in and sit down. He nodded at the boys but didn't say much. He and Katherine looked at each other and a thousand thoughts passed silently between them.

The world changed that afternoon. A man on the radio said the Navy lost the entire Pacific fleet. The air in the room turned electric. The boys wanted revenge. They spoke in excited voices about taking the fight to the enemy. Their parents, aunts and uncles sat in grim silence. That day their world shifted and the future filled them with uncertainty.

But Katherine knew

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