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Grand Rapids seaman killed in Pearl Harbor honored in 1942 propaganda film

Dec 7, 2016

The film includes scenes of ordinary Americans going about their daily lives and emphasizes the impact of war here at home.
Credit screengrab / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

“Today is the day that will live in infamy,” in the words of President Franklin Roosevelt.

This is the 75th anniversary of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor – the attack that propelled the United States into World War II.

The next year, some Hollywood heavyweights produced a propaganda film called Fellow Americans designed to boost support for the war.

It was narrated by Jimmy Stewart, the first movie star to enter military service. At the time of this film he was a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Air Corps.

The film begins in Grand Rapids:

“A few weeks ago, one ordinary Grand Rapids day, a bomb fell. Yes, here in Grand Rapids, a bomb fell on the furniture center of the USA. Someone was killed. Someone of Grand Rapids."

And that is true. That someone was Raymond Boynton, Seaman Second Class in the United States Navy. He was indeed from Grand Rapids and one of the more than 2,000 Americans who died in the Pearl Harbor attack.

Watch Fellow Americans in its entirety here.

There will be a candlelight ceremony to mark this 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor at 6:30 p.m. in Royal Oak at the Michigan World War II Legacy Memorial Site at 13 Mile Rd. and Woodward.

You can find all the details at michiganww2memorial.org.

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