Nineteen ladies of the Boonville Historical Club enjoyed a variety of tasty dishes during our annual Christmas Dinner-Meeting on Monday evening, December 7, at the Boonville Presbyterian Church fellowship hall. Hostesses Vivian Brucker and Carol Kulpa did an excellent job of dressing the tables for the occasion and everyone looked festive in holiday garb. With the first significant snowfall of the season (even though it was just an inch or two), and a Christmas carol sing-along, the words “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” took on new meaning.
Response to roll call was to mention a fact about Pearl Harbor Day. As most everyone is aware, it was on this date in 1941 – early on a Sunday morning – that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, causing immense devastation, and thrusting the United States into World War II. It was a day that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared would “live in infamy.” Several members shared vivid memories of that historic date. Others presented some very interesting facts. Although the following may or may not have been included, here are some statistics on the surprise attack.
Japanese losses were minimal – negligible – in view of the victory they had won: 185 killed, one captured. American losses were staggering: 2,403 casualties (2,008 Navy, 218 Army, 109 Marines, and 68 civilians) and 1,178 wounded (710 Navy, 364 Army, 69 Marines and 35 civilians). The battleship Arizona saw the greatest loss of life, accounting for half the naval casualties. The US lost 169 aircraft and 150 were damaged.
While some people may want to forget past wars, December 7, 1941, was a significant day in American history. As one of our members mentioned, there is not enough media coverage these days of what happened at Pearl Harbor.
During the club’s business meeting, we signed Christmas cards to send to military personnel who have a local connection, discussed shipment of the items we’ve collected for the soldiers in Afghanistan, and voted to give a donation to Boonville’s “Feed the Reindeer” fund. The reindeer couple quietly reside in the Little Village Park each year at this time.
It was later decided that several members will meet on Thursday morning, December 10, to pack the packages for shipment to a nephew of one of our members, who is serving in the Marines in Afghanistan. He’ll see that they are distributed to others under his command (see earlier posts about this project).
We concluded our meeting by singing several familiar Christmas carols, accompanied by Glenyce Trainor on the piano, who did her usual excellent job.
The club does not meet again until February 1, when our program will be about the history of the U.S. Flag, presented by Cathy Duncan. The meeting, which takes place in the Episcopal Church fellowship hall, is open to the public, so plan to join us at 7:30 p.m.