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Broehm, Barbara / World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth
(December 2000)

World War II through the eyes of Manitowoc's homefront youth,   pp. [1]-30


Page 7

Broehm 7 
seriously ill during this time." As a result, this teenager juggled
caring for ill parents, 
going to school, and running the household. Through the National Youth Administration
(NYA) she found a job. "I took classes at te vocational school, and
I got a job at a 
transportation company. I replaced a guy who had gone into the service..
.I was only 
sixteen at the time." She said that if it weren't for the war, she would
never had gotten 
the job. "My job sure helped out my family financially.'16 Overall,
these individuals 
feel that they had to grow up too fast and lost years that should have been
happy and 
carefree. 
Another group of homefront boys and girls remember the war as a time of 
rewarding adventures. "I feel guilty saying this," reflects a homefront
boy, "but those 
years were probably the best years of my life!" Manitowoc was a "booming"
place 
during the war with the war industry. People had jobs and finally some money
to spend. 
He adds, "With military personnel stationed in town, Manitowoc was included
on the 
entertainment circuit. Performers like Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, and Lawrence
Welk all came to Manitowoc." 17 
Regardless of different backgrounds and personal dilemmas, all agree that
the 
attack of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 united Americans in a common cause.
Men 
and women who were children then, remember precisely where they were and
what they 
were doing when they heard the news about the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor.
For 
many, time stopped at that moment in what psychologists call "flashbulb
memory:" the 
16 Louise Zigmund, interview by Barbara Broehm, 12 November 2000. 
17 Howard Wilsman, interview by Barbara Broehm., 19 November 2000. 


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