A birthday present | TheUnion.com

A birthday present

I was born on May 7, 1933. My 12th birthday, May 7, 1945, was my most memorable as we were all waiting and hoping for an end to the war as soon as possible. That morning, before leaving for school, I heard on the radio that Germany had unconditionally surrendered and that the official surrender date would be the next day, President Truman’s birthday. That day, May 8, was a special school holiday in honor of VE Day.

I can also vividly remember Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, and D Day, June 6, 1944. Oh how we were waiting for news of the invasion that would liberate Europe from the Nazis! I can remember my father telling my mother that we were going to get into a war with Japan, and we wouldn’t be able to get new cars during the war. So in the fall of 1940, he traded his 1939 Mercury for a new 1941 Mercury, which he drove all through the war. There is much more I could share of my World War II childhood memories, if space would permit. I was probably at just that right age for WW II to have a lasting effect on my memory; programs about WWII on the History Channel still fascinate me.

William J. Toensing

Nevada City

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