July 4, 1942

The first July 4th after the bombing of Pearl Harbor was quieter than the year before.  The Standard Examiner reported:

Observance of Ogden and the state of Utah of Independence day, 1942, resolved itself into the military establishments staying at work and other citizenry marking the day with patriotic fetes.

From the Ogden air depot, Hill field, came word of a war department order for all employees to work and perform all functions except the transactions that were interrupted by local celebrations.  Hill field went ahead with its vast construction program despite other events in the war-torn world.  Utah general depot was reported working “full force.”  Ogden arsenal stated that all departments were on the job with part of the holiday being accorded to some employees. 

Ogden started the day off with flag raising ceremonies at the city-county building and Memorial drive.  The Ogden recreation department will entertain at Lorin Farr park during the day.

In the war news, 335 ships had been destroyed in the Atlantic by German U-boats, since the beginning of the war.  The Russian army was engaged in a death struggle to defend Moscow from the Germans.  In the Pacific, the fighting was in New Guinea, with the Allies trying to hold Port Moresby from the Japanese.  If Port Moresby were lost, the next target for the Japanese would be a easy trip to Australia. The British were holding in North Africa, but it would be months before the situation would improve.

Here at home, eleven families were mourning the loss of their sons and husbands in the war.  Hundreds of other families worried about their sons, especially those in the Pacific.

This was only the first of what would become four 4th of July’s during World War II.

As we celebrate today, let us remember 75 years ago.  The heartache of families and the worry and concern about the increasing dark days of war. There would be so many more dark days to come.