Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7--A Day to Remember

December 7 is a day to remember.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Empire attacked Pearl Harbor, a day, which President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced, was "a day that will live in infamy."

At that time, my dad, James P. Duly, Sr., had moved from St. Louis and was living with his older brother Tom in Chicago. Because of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dad enlisted in the Army. After training, he was assigned to the 96th Infantry Division and sent to the Pacific Theater. He served in the Philippines and Okinawa. After the war he returned home to St. Louis, where he met my mom.

Dad was proud of being in the service. He didn't talk a lot about the war, but it affected him--and us--the rest of his life. He was frequently hospitalized in the VA hospital because of his service-connected disability. Dad died in the VA hospital in St. Louis on April, 12, 1983. So, today I remember my dad for his service during World War II, but mostly I remember Dad for giving me life and the values he instilled in me.

On a happy note, today I also remember my baby sister, Bridget, who was born on December 7, 1961--49 years ago today. Bridget is the fun and bubbly one in our family.

Mom had originally wanted to give Bridget the name Christine, but another relative named her daughter Christine a few months before Bridget was born. My grandpa urged Mom and Dad to name Bridget Pearl because she was born on Pearl Harbor Day, but thankfully, they didn't listen to him. Bridget fits her name so well. She loves everything Irish. She is a hard worker, a wonderful gardner and animal lover, and a great sister and aunt. (Her husband Steve's birthday is September 11, so they share birthdays when our country was attacked.)

So, thanks, Dad, and Happy Birthday, Bridget, on this special day.


  1. Thank you Donna for this special blog post.

  2. I love your rememberance. This day changed so many of our parents--my father enlisted as well and served then.

  3. Nice essay to honor, to remember. WWII was so horrid but it also brought out a lot of good in a number of people.

  4. Hi Mary, Terri, and Bookie,
    Thanks for your comments and kind words.

  5. Perhaps all girls named Bridget are bubbly? One of my best childhood friends was named Bridget, and she, too, was bubbly.

    I'm sure you have written (and gotten published) many stories about your dad???

  6. My father served in WWII as well. Thank you for this post, and happy birthday to Bridget!

  7. Thanks for reminding us to give a moment of recollection to a terrible and costly (in many ways) day in our history.


    PS The auction went well. The Lodge made close to $1000. Not bad for the first quarter auction!

  8. What a wonderful way to commemorate this important day. Many thanks to your Dad and all the others who serve/have served in the military. Happy Birthday to your sister as well!
    Blessings for your week,

  9. What a very nice tribute to your loved ones.

  10. It's eerie about the birthdays your sister and her husband share. Thank you for remembering.

  11. Donna, thanks for posting about Pearl Harbor Day and your other remembrances. I was surprised and saddened that there wasn't much mentioned on TV about it this year. My dad, too, was in the service during WWII, plus all 3 of his brothers, AND their dad joined, too!

  12. My son, born on December 7th as well, has always been very interested in WWII. We recently watched "The Pacific" mini-series and own the DVDs to "Band of Brothers" about Easy Company over in Europe. I'm glad it is a day of rememberence to honor those who have fought for our freedom but also a day of celebration for my son.

  13. Happy birthday to Bridget (my youngest daughter is named Christina) and thanks to your dad for his service! You are proud of him, and it shows. God bless!

  14. Wow, the response to this post has been overwhelming.

    In addition to those I've already thanked--Mary Nida, Terri, and Claudia--thank you, Sue, Tammy, Pat, Karen,Linda, Carol, Becky, Sally, and Lisa for your comments and kind words.

    December 7 is a truly day to remember for many reasons.

  15. My dad was already in the service and my mom was four months pregnant with me when Pearl Harbor was bombed. I don't remember them ever talking about it too much when I was a kid, but it must have been one of the most traumatic events of their lives.


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