Memoirs of the Class of 1946

Yesterday, I wrote about finding a 1946 Huntsville High School yearbook at a thrift store. I was reading through it and found an essay titled “Memoirs of the class of 1946.”

It was interesting reading.  Here are a few paragraphs from the essay.

On December 7, 1941, when the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States declared war on Japan, we then realized that we were children of a war and that some of our classmates might have to go before the dark cloud of war passed over our heads.

Gasoline and sugar were rationed, but we didn’t mind the scarcity if it helped.  That year a few of our classmates went to do their share in winning the war, and we who were left behind did our share too.  We saved tin can, toothpaste tubes, collected scrap metal and were 100 percent in the purchase of stamps and bonds to help end the war quicker and bring our boys home.

The year 1945, proved to be one of the most important years in the history of the United States, as well as in the history of the graduation class of 1946.  We bought war stamps, had paper drives, and most anything we could to bring about peace.  

On the afternoon of April 12, we were working hard in preparation for a Spanish Fiesta when the news came over the radio that our president had passed away in Warm Springs, Georgia.  It seemed to knock the excitement and joy out of everyone, but we carried on as he would have wished us to do.

Then on May 7, everyone was happy to hear of the surrender of the Germans, but we couldn’t be too happy because boys were still dying in Japan.  Leaving school in June we knew that upon our return we would be dignified seniors.

Our senior year started with a bang!  The war with Japan had ended September 2, and we returned to school happy and with a feeling of peace in our hearts.

It was the first peaceful year of our high school career.  Many boys retuned from the war and started where they left off.  We were glad to have them back.

As we finish the last page of our high school history and begin a new chapter in our lives we go out into the world with a firm resolve that we will do our part in making this a better world.

As I read this essay, I was struck by their willings to sacrifice for a greater good.  These teenagers were more civic minded than most adults I know today.  I looked through the yearbook at their pictures and noticed a sense of seriousness about them.  I admire them and wonder what became of them.  I hope they were able to live out their dreams for the future.