The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Frank Seifert is not only a truly inspirational and intelligent person, but he is also my grandfather. I am truly blessed that he sat down to talk in his home with me and share this experience with me. He is 91 years old and has held onto his memory of the Pearl Harbor attack for the entirety of his adult life. He then served in the U.S. Army, although he never saw combat since the war had ended by the time he had completed boot camp. 

Photo provided by History on the Net

Memory Postcard #2

Pearl Harbor, 1941

Frank Seifert

           Frank was thirteen when he went on a trip with his local Hi-Y club, a program run through the YMCA, to Lafayette College for a seminar. He and four other young boys piled into a car and started the trip up to the seminar. They were going to stay up there for the weekend, arrive on Friday and leave on Sunday. The boys successfully arrived at the seminar and spent the weekend learning about whatever the seminar had detailed. It was not important enough for Frank to remember the content of the seminar but remembered that it was a fun time.

           The date was December 7th. After their enjoyable time at Lafayette, the youngsters gathered themselves into another car for the drive back home. The overall feeling in the car was that of joy and happiness, as the kids had just completed a fun and engaging weekend and were anxious to get home and see their families. They were listening to some classical music on the radio when the music suddenly stopped. The initial response was that the driver had changed stations and it was taking a moment to fully tune-in. The time was 10:55 am Hawaii time, which converted to 3:55 pm East Coast time when a chilling broadcast came over the radio. The entire car became silent. “We have witnessed this morning, the distant view, a battle off Pearl Harbor and the severe bombing of Pearl Harbor by enemy planes, undoubtedly Japanese. The city of Honolulu has also been attacked and considerable damage done. This battle has been going on for nearly three hours. It is no joke. It is a real war.” Chatter ensued. The entire car had started to decipher the plainly clear message, trying to make sense of it all. It came out of the clear blue sky. Questions arose, asking about “why this would happen” or “what was going to happen next.” That previous feeling of joy and happiness had been replaced by surprise and confusion.

Pearl Harbor represented a time that our country had been attacked on our own soil, which had not happened since The War of 1812. Frank would remember this attack for the rest of his life, as any proud American would. He was then drafted to the U.S. Army four years later to fight the very evil that had struck his country on that ordinary December day.

Pearl Harbor

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December 7, 1941
In the car ride returning from a Hi-Y event

Frank Seifert is not only a truly inspirational and intelligent person, but he is also my grandfather. I am truly blessed that he sat down to talk in his home with me and share this experience with me. He is 91 years old and has held onto his memory of the Pearl Harbor attack for the entirety of his adult life. He then served in the U.S. Army, although he never saw combat since the war had ended by the time he had completed boot camp.

Photo provided by History on the Net

Decade: 1940s
Rating:
Recorded by Harrison Seifert on June 7, 2018
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