RED CLOUD — Many older Americans can tell you where they were and what they were doing when they learned of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Red Cloud resident Janice Thomas wasn't born until World War II was safely in the history books. But, for her, Pearl Harbor Day has an intensely personal meaning all its own.
On Dec. 7, 1959 — the 18th anniversary of the disastrous attack that drew the United States into the war — Thomas, then 11 years old, fell victim to a freakish accident at her home in Marble Falls, Texas.
She was left with burns over 95 percent of her body and has endured a lifetime of medical complications that continue to the present day, requiring periodic surgeries. Now 65, she looks back on many years of limitations related to her injuries and can't help but wonder how things might have been different had the fire not occurred.