For Norman Birbeck of Brunswick High School, the strike on Pearl Harbor in 1941 put him into a state of Patriotism to fight for the land he loves, and help those who couldn’t help themselves. However, enlisting right away did not seem very tasteful. Norman did not graduate until 1942, leaving him in high school during the attack. The times were hard, the times were scary, time was running out.
Being surrounded by constant headlines of ‘Hitler invades Poland!’ ‘German’s Resume Attack!’ built anger inside Americans such as Norman. Being in high school provided time to think about enlistment. The United States already had 12 million soldiers in the military, making it a toss up of whether one guy like Norman would make a difference, or even enlist for that matter. Yet, certain aspects made enlisting more tasteful. A poor economic structure in the states put fear in Norman, and the security of a military paycheck provided comfort within him knowing he had something to fall back on. Also, men who didn’t enlist out of fear, or made excuses would be considered traitors. No one wanted to be considered a traitor in the eyes of their country, so after putting all these questions into play, Norman made the patriotic decision to enlist.
He signed his life to the United States military on January 30th, 1943 and got assigned to the 343rd regiment of the 86th division infantry as a medical aid. Although Norman did not directly fight, he still lives on as a hero for the actions that were taken to save fellow soldiers. His life came to a heroic end as a German sniper struck him directly while helping an injured soldier off a bridge. Although Norman may not physically be here, his actions and spirit live on forever as a symbol of home town patriotism and love for the greatest country in the world, our own U.S.A.