It was not a merry Christmas. Pearl Harbor was still digging out from the drubbing the Japanese Imperial Navy had delivered to our Navy and Army. The Japanese were running rampant all over Asia, and our Army in the Philippines was being pummeled by crack Japanese troops. There were no rescue operations on the books, and within five months 10,000 US troops (and 40,000 Filipino troops) would surrender and be marched off into brutal captivity.

It was not a merry Christmas.

And on the other side of the globe the German army was at the gates of Moscow. It seemed that the Soviet Union (the Allies newest ally) would be finished off by the Nazis. In North Africa, Rommel’s panzer divisions were rolling over British troops. It seemed as though darkness was going to win. Time to give up, right?

That was not the attitude in America. Americans were so enraged at Japan’s treachery that even three weeks after Pearl Harbor there were lines wrapping around city blocks…filled with young men eager to defend America and defeat the Axis powers.

It was not a merry Christmas. But soon enough, in a few years, a merry Christmas would return.