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On D-Day in Philly, in Forty-Four,
I, at fifteen, sat on the floor –

All night long, as it turned out to be –
It was finally D-Day, a big deal for me.

The radio screeched from the undersea cable.
I pressed my ear close, to hear what I was able.

For months we had known this day was to come.
I was excited, somewhat more than some.

I had followed the war since I heard of Pearl Harbor.
Having been out all day, when I saw the ajar-door.

I found everyone around the radio clustered;
“Japanese” and, “Pearl Harbor” were the few words I mustered.

The next day, at Junior High, we met in assembly.
Roosevelt on the radio spoke of an, “Infamy.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer showed maps every day;
Two theaters of action were always in play.

The world opened to me on the Seventh of December,
Cascading in with news I’ll always remember.

Ration books followed – less dairy and meats;
Air Raid Wardens pounded their beats.

Black curtains covered home lights and cars;
The only things allowed to shine at night were the stars.

Those elsewhere would laugh at these things;
We had no idea on what real life clings

Quite superficial for us was the war;
It went for us as with me on the floor:

Listening to disembodied reports of men dying –
Excited and interested, but not even crying.

Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

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