On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed the Pearl Harbor Naval Station in Hawaii. The next day Congress declared war on the Axis powers, led by Germany and Japan. Vermonters, along with the rest of America, were called upon to defend the basic ideals of freedom and unity. Though Vermont, like most of the country, escaped the devastation and upheaval suffered in much of the world, its citizens recognized the need to make sacrifices to preserve its society.
World War II was a total war—fought not only on distant battlefields, but also at home on economic, social, and even psychological fronts. The home front in Vermont is a story of patriotism, pride, fear, frustration, and hard work. Vermonters who lived through the war remember feelings of deprivation, camaraderie, and accomplishment, along with constant worry for family or friends in the military and grief when a life was lost.
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