London's Westminster Abbey held its first secular service in nine
centuries when it hosted a Thanksgiving event for U.S. troops stationed
in England. More than 3,500 people filled the church for a program
featuring patriotic songs such as "The Star-Spangled Banner" and
"America the Beautiful."
The U.S. officially entered the conflict December 8, 1941--one
day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Food rations, troop
deployments, and fierce battles dampened many holiday celebrations
until the end of the war in August 1945.