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                Once in a Century
By Shirl Bisselle Buckingham’s Choice
It seems there are some days that just stick in your memory. Believe it or not, in one person’s lifetime there can be a jolt that opens the eyes and affects people of a whole global community. Many times you think to yourself, What is this? Who are we? Where have we been? Can this be happening to my little world?
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Can you remember World War II, the global war that lasted from 1939
to 1945—the deadliest conflict in human history? When I was in the first grade in 1941 we lived in Wrightsville Beach, NC. My father, James Arthur Register, worked at Cape
Fear, NC, loading and towing battleships out to sea. It was a time when he was working around the clock.
Global World War II began on September 1, 1939, when German forces invaded Poland. Every American remembers December
7, 1941, when Japan bombed the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor. On December 8, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his famous speech to the Joint Session of Congress “...a date which will live in infamy.” I will always remember the names of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Hirohito.
One weekend Dad suggested to my mom, Katie Mae, that it would be a good idea to take the kids—Jim (7), Shirley (6), and Audrey (3)—to visit her parents since he would be working all weekend.
My grandparents, Joseph and Annie Whitson, lived in Fayetteville, NC. It was late when we arrived and my Grandmommy said to Dad, “Arthur, why don’t you lie down and rest for an hour or so before you go back to Cape Fear?” “No, I can’t do that, Annie. We have to keep working around the clock!”

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