We Remember

Today, we honor those who perished 77 years ago at Pearl Harbor, and we salute every veteran who served in World War II over the 4 years that followed that horrific attack.

On December 7, 1941, America was attacked without warning at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by the air and naval forces of Imperial Japan.  Just before 8:00 a.m., Japanese aircraft ripped through the sky, dropping bombs on ships of the United States Pacific Fleet and on nearby airfields and bases.  The attack took the lives of more than 2,400 American service members and wounded another 1,100 American citizens.  The brutal surprise attack halted only after nearly two hours of chaos, death, and destruction.

Despite the shock and confusion of the moment, American service members and first responders on the island of Oahu mounted an incredibly brave defense against insurmountable odds.  American pilots took to the air to engage enemy aircraft, sailors took their battle stations, and medical personnel cared for the wounded.  Many witnesses to the events of that day perished in the attacks, leaving countless acts of valor unrecorded.  Nevertheless, 15 Medals of Honor were awarded — 10 of them posthumously — to United States Navy personnel for acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.

Although the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor was badly impaired, America did not falter.  One day after the attacks, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared to the Congress:  “No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.”  And, in the weeks, months, and years that followed the brutal attack at Pearl Harbor, Americans united with a steadfast resolve to defend the freedoms upon which our great Nation was founded.  Millions of brave men and women answered their country’s call to service with unquestionable courage.  These incredible patriots fought, bled, sacrificed, and ultimately triumphed for the cause of freedom.

We are blessed as a Nation to have as examples the incredible heroes of World War II, who fought so valiantly to preserve all that we hold dear.  Earlier this year, I had the tremendous honor of meeting Mr. Ray Chavez, who was the oldest living Pearl Harbor veteran.  Ray passed away only a few weeks ago at the incredible age of 106.  But his legacy is forever etched into our country’s rich history, along with the legacies of all our brave veterans.  They tell of the mettle of the American spirit under fire and of the will of our people to stand up to any threat.  The selfless bravery and dedication of these extraordinary Americans will never be forgotten.

Today, we remember all those killed on the island of Oahu on that fateful Sunday morning in 1941, and we honor the American patriots of the Greatest Generation who laid down their lives in the battles of World War II.  America is forever blessed to have strong men and women with exceptional courage who are willing and able to step forward to defend our homeland and our liberty.

The Congress, by Public Law 103-308, as amended, has designated December 7 of each year as “National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim December 7, 2018, as National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.  I encourage all Americans to observe this solemn day of remembrance and to honor our military, past and present, with appropriate ceremonies and activities.  I urge all Federal agencies and interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff in honor of those American patriots who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

DONALD J. TRUMP

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89 Responses to We Remember

  1. fleporeblog says:

    This was the first year where none of the men that were serving at Pearl Harbor were able to be their for the ceremonies. Due to their health, the travel was impossible 😭.

    The Greatest Generation this country has ever had will need each and everyone of us to tell their stories or else future generations will know nothing about them.

    Good bless each and everyone of them for their service to our country!

    Liked by 39 people

  2. kinthenorthwest says:

    Men of all ages, and even women like my mom were lined up to fight for America.
    God Bless our American people-current, families, vets and those passed away.
    As i say often on Tweeter(but not often enough)There can never be enough THANK YOUs for America’s Military people.

    Liked by 25 people

  3. ElTocaor says:

    “in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen”

    God Bless you, President Trump. God Bless the United States of America. I will never forget December the seventh.

    Jesus is the Eternal King and the cup of his wrath is nearly sated.
    THE KING OF ALL CREATION WILL BE BACK SOON SO GET READY

    Liked by 21 people

  4. NJF says:

    My dad quit high school to join the navy as soon as we joined the war. It took the navy several months to figure out he was under 18! They discharged him and told him to come back when he was 18, and he did. Served 13 years, but left when he met my mom and they got married.

    Wish I was aware enough to ask him everything about his service before he died. Like most from the greatest generation, he never spoke much about his service. They only thing he spoke freely about were the friends he made while serving.

    Thanks dad for all you did. God bless all those men, and all those who have served since.

    Liked by 27 people

    • kinthenorthwest says:

      Guess I am lucky–Did a paper on my mom for college…She wrote me a really nice long letter depicting all her experiences. Only area were there were very few details was her time in the Philippines. She was with the women brought in to help out with the prisoners when MacArthur took over the Philippines the 2nd time. Professor was a bit miffed about the tittle until he realized my mom was the one who came up with it..”My Mother Wore Army Boots” (For those from my generation, you will know what the title was usually meant).

      Liked by 19 people

      • Kalbo says:

        ”My Mother Wore Army Boots”

        Your paper must be both educational and an inspiration.

        Liked by 6 people

        • kinthenorthwest says:

          Yes it was — learned a lot from my mother, and the extra research that I did..
          She was an awesome lady..I might be biased but do believe they broke the mold with her…
          When she was 92 she wore her WWII uniform in the Veterans Parade..Yes it still fit her…that was 3 months before she died..

          Liked by 10 people

      • sailor2014 says:

        You should publish that paper. It would be fascinating.

        Liked by 3 people

      • anthony earl says:

        did she mention santo tomas? my grandparents and uncle were prisoner there when the japanese came in. they were there working for studebaker. my father has collected lots of info and articles about his parent time there. i wish that could have talked to my grandfather more about it when i was younger so i could have heard the details. please keep that letter in a safe place.

        Like

        • kinthenorthwest says:

          As I said she said very little about the Philippines. except for a few comments when I did the Japanese detention center paper.

          Like

    • woodstuff says:

      I also regret not gleaning what I could about my father regarding Pearl Harbor and his service in the Pacific campaign and in Korea. I also sorely regret that I didn’t take more time to listen to older people about their lives in days past.

      Liked by 7 people

      • olderwiser21 says:

        Woodstuff, it was difficult to get all this info because they didn’t talk about it much. My Dad was a pilot – flew bombing missions over Germany – and I wish to high heaven I had probed deeper into his experiences as well, but it wasn’t a topic of general conversation. Every once in awhile he would mention his war experiences and luckily, my son interviewed him for a report he did in high school, but even that probably barely scratches the surface of what really went on with him and his crew, their training, my Mother who was waiting for him at home, etc.. They were quiet about their service, partially because I think it was such a difficult time in their lives. God Bless them all!

        Liked by 9 people

    • Sayit2016 says:

      My Dad joined the Navy ( USS Missouri/ USS Worcester when he was not quite 17- he just up and left the family farm to find an adventure. My Grandparents had no idea where he was… until they got a telegram from the Navy informing them their son had been hit in the face with an unsecured rigging, while injured he was going to be ok. This was a little after a about 18 months after he joined so he was 18 that September. He made Chief Petty in 4 years, A young man in a hurry.

      My Grandmother was very active in the VFW. Dad was laughing when he told me that Grandma went down to the naval affairs office like a ” wet mother hen” and demanded that his birth date be changed. She said she would not let that lie stand !

      RIP Dad- you are loved and missed beyond words…

      Liked by 14 people

  5. Akindole says:

    Deep in the front lines of New Guinea.

    158th Arizona National Guard; “Bushmasters”. Arizona boys, including dad, were sent to Panama for jungle training before going to the Pacific early on. As I was told, he and many many others were preparing (packing his gear) to invade Japan when the bomb was dropped.

    The Greatest Generation that ever was.

    Liked by 23 people

  6. Justice Warrior says:

    They helped make the country I grew up believing in. I’m so grateful!

    Liked by 13 people

  7. Vicki Bryant says:

    Actually, the attacks were known ahead of time but our “leaders” chose war profiteering over American lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • keeler says:

      I suggest reading “At Dawn We Slept.”

      The authors lay out a compelling case that superb Japanese training, luck, and perhaps most importantly, a failure of communication in the various levels between Washington and Honolulu, explain how the attacks became possible.

      Various warnings signs did exist, but the intelligence officers collecting them as they came in failed to follow through on their distribution or to recognized their significance. Furthermore, American military leaders in Hawaii were focused both on the wrong areas (such as Southeast Asia and the Philippines, which were also also attacked) and anticipating the wrong methods (sabotage) of a possible Japanese surprise attack.

      Liked by 5 people

      • davidb says:

        @ Keeler….Im more inclined to believe they had made contact days earlier with the Japanese aircraft carriers that had crossed the Pacific ocean to launch their planes on Pearl. Also the new radar installations they had picked up the planes too, but no general quarters alarm was called. But the fact still remains as our enlisted and veterans will fight even today.

        Like

      • Jim in TN says:

        The carriers were delivering planes to Wake. They had no clue that Hawaii would be hit and were real lucky that the carriers were out.

        The carriers were returning that morning. If the Japs had searched, they may have taken those out too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • davidb says:

          The carriers were quite impressive in their part of the war. I actually was aboard ship berthed next to the Shangri-la, which was John McCain sr ship for part of the war. It was decommissioned already for a few years.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Most people still don’t want to believe our leaders purposely got us into both WWI and WWII for political reasons that had nothing whatsoever to do with what was good for our nation and it’s people. Nor, that there have been and are powerful forces controlling the direction and rate of speed of each of the administrations elected to office whose purposes are yet and always will (as long as we refuse to see them and root them out) subversive and ill-intended. They are mightily upset with the election of Donald Trump because he is not one of them and doesn’t want to be on their team.

      Liked by 4 people

    • kinthenorthwest says:

      Please save this for another day.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. NJF says:

    makes me cry everything.

    100-year-old WWII vet receives special birthday letter from The White House

    Michigan native Isaac “Ike” Fabela was born in 1918 and served in World War II from 1944 to 1946. All he wanted for his 100th birthday was 100 birthday cards. Word got out and spread like wildfire – even actor Chris Pratt got involved. But the biggest surprise happened when he received a letter from The White House.

    Liked by 14 people

  9. keeler says:

    Great documentary on the USS Oklahoma, which lost 429 crew members on December 7, 1941. Oklahoma was the only other battleship lost at Pearl Harbor which was too badly damaged to return to active duty.

    Liked by 7 people

  10. Paco Loco says:

    In the late 90’s, I spent a week out on Ford Island on Pearl moving a large satellite antenna. The old building we were working in was a two story concrete structure complete with bullet pock marks from Jap Zeros straffing. Lots of ghosts. Years later the movie Pearl Harbor was filmed out there and as I was driving from Windward Oahu on H3, I could see the recreation of the attack being performed complete with authentic aircraft. It was very real looking. I had a number of friends in their sixties and seventies who were on island Dec. 7 and all had vivid memories of the sneak attack. They all still carried hatred for the Japanese even after 60 years.

    Liked by 11 people

    • kinthenorthwest says:

      When I did a paper on the Japanese Internment Camps for California history in college that was a really sore point for my mother. She was one of those women who loved & cared about everyone til the day she died. However, she carried no sympathy for the people who were interred. in the camps. As I said above she got stationed in the Philippines just after the 2nd take over. All she would say was “if you saw what I saw, you would realize that we were much kinder”..To her credit, I did find through my ton of research that there were about 1/3 or more that wanted to go back to Japan and fight with their homeland against America..

      Liked by 7 people

      • InAz says:

        My mother’s oldest brother was sent to Europe during WWII…France, Germany, Italy.
        The second oldest brother was sent to the Pacific Campaign to fight the Japanese. The second oldest brother hated the Japanese with a passion until the day he died.

        The oldest brother stayed in the Army after WWII, and was sent to the Korean War. There in Korea he met a native born Japanese woman with two young children. The Japanese woman’s husband was killed in WWII fighting for the Japanese Imperial Army. The oldest brother married the Japanese woman in Korea and brought her and her children to America and they became citizens.

        The second oldest brother never spoke to the oldest brother again. My grandmother and mother were not happy about the Japanese woman, but they still spoke to the oldest brother.

        Liked by 2 people

        • kinthenorthwest says:

          My mother had several very good Japanese friends, and would probably have laid down her life for them. However, when it came to people accusing America of being cruel to the the Japanese in WWII, that was a huge thorn in her side.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Kalbo says:

        Wow!

        Two divergent yet somewhat related perspectives. My Mother Wore Army Boots” and one on the internment camps.

        Commonly drive on US 395 past Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp, Owens Valley, near Independence CA.

        Surely two insightful papers. Same Professor grade both papers? If I were the Professor, I’d have had a great conversation, or two with you.

        Had never heard or read 1/3 Japanese wished to fight on behalf of their homeland. Eye opening to say the least. Wondering, that 1/3 felt the day before December 7, 1941.

        Very much appreciate your posts here.

        Liked by 4 people

        • kinthenorthwest says:

          American history was the first one…Two years later I had to take California history. I lived about 70 or so miles from Manzanar for over 14 years and was the reason I choose that group, I had actually thought my mom could get me some recent pics, but realized quickly it was not a good subject matter with her.

          Liked by 3 people

        • kinthenorthwest says:

          After thought I did tons of research on this. My teachers always told me I did more than anyone else. Not only was that a shock, but in 2000/01(?) I did not realize that we had also interned Germans & Italians too.
          Found some other stories that really opened up my eyes as to America not being the perfect nation. Seems there were several prisoner trades that were not really what one would call humanitarian, especially if what I read was true Some of my research indicated that America did trades of people we held in the German &/or Italian camps for some Americans, knowing that the people we traded would be immediately executed. (probably not the thread for this–sorry).

          Liked by 2 people

    • olderwiser21 says:

      Paco – My Dad never got over his dislike of the Japanese either. I didn’t blame him.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Doug says:

    Thank you!
    My namesake is on that wall.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Ken Lawson says:

      Doug – Speaking of your name, I’ve met a few elderly Japanese who were children in Japan during WWII. They said that it was common for them after the war to name their male children Douglas because of General Douglas MacArthur. One old woman told me through her tears that she named her son Douglas because General MacArthur was so kind to the Japanese people after the war. She felt that it was so uncommon for a former enemy to be kind. That really struck me about the difference between their culture and ours.

      You’ve got a name with great history!

      Liked by 6 people

  12. donnyvee says:

    My father was one of the thousands who enlisted on 12/8/1941. He enlisted in the Navy, was at and was injured at Midway on the Enterprise from a hard landing. (He was a radio man). They put his shoulder back together on the ship and served on the Enterprise through the conclusion of the war. Braver men than me. All of them. I thank God for them.

    Liked by 11 people

    • Mike says:

      The Enterprise, “The Big E” was the most decorated US Navy ship in WWII.

      It fought in 20 battles, sunk 71 enemy ships including three IJN Carriers, and destroyed 911 enemy aircraft. (According to “Enterprise” by Barrett Tillman)
      Your dad did good! (understatement)

      Liked by 6 people

    • We heard that my mom’s birth father also signed up on 12-8-41 with the Marines. He was at Tarawa & other Pacific battles with the second division, I believe. Someday I hope to get copies of his military record & that of mom’s birth-mom who was a WAC, I believe, & served in Alaska & elsewhere during & after the war. Both of these blood family members died before we met any birth-family, though the Marine’s family said that he Never talked of his war-time experiences. He apparently came home with a Japanese parachute…hmm…

      I read a book about Tarawa (to get a better idea of my birth-grandpa’s experiences), by Robert Sherrod (I believe) who was an embedded reporter with the Marines. He said that every day he woke up he was still at Tarawa! What heroism & burdens these sacrificial patriots carry/ied truly only God knows. What a debt of honor we owe them all…

      http://disc.yourwebapps.com/Indices/149620.html
      Tarawa Talk (above) is a message board with various discussion threads about that battle & there is a lot of fascinating info & also amazing people that interact here…

      Like

  13. Scott says:

    My father signed up to join the US Navy on his 18th birthday, early August 1945. Sound familiar? Yep, Japan heard my dad was coming and quickly surrendered. He loved to joke that it was he that won the war. Those 2 bombs were just a coincidence.

    Side note…don’t forget that knowledge of our 2nd Amendment may have directly led to no follow-on invasion from the Japanese. We would have no doubt still won, but the toll would have definitely been higher.

    Salute to all Vets, past, present, and future!

    Liked by 9 people

  14. Ghost says:

    I once walked the beach of Omaha with my father. He pointed to where the boat landed in the first wave, the path he and his group took fighting to get off of the beach. Where his friends who didn’t make it died. It was heart wrenching, one of the most memorable experience of my life with him.

    Liked by 17 people

  15. cheryl says:

    The entitled brats raised today by liberals will never understand the sacrifices that teenagers back then made to ensure their freedom to attack and troll American values.

    Liked by 7 people

    • Ken Lawson says:

      I think that’s because kids today aren’t raised the way they were back then. My father and uncles were in that war and they saw it as a duty, not a sacrifice to serve their country. So few young people today even understand that concept. I consider it an honor to have been raised in a family where duty was understood and love of country was more important than life itself.

      Liked by 8 people

  16. menolikekoolaid says:

    “….in the year of our Lord 2018, and of the independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.”

    2nd Chronicles 7:14….God bless America.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Ken Lawson says:

      menolikekoolaid – I quote II Chronicles 7:14 all the time and it’s good to see someone else do it, too. I wish more Americans knew that we should be responding as God calls us to do in that passage. If we don’t I believe God will withdraw His hand of blessing on our nation and it will get worse than it was before President Trump was elected.

      God bless you and have a Merry Christmas.

      Like

  17. olderwiser21 says:

    Such a beautiful declaration by President Trump. Very touching and heartfelt. Thank You, POTUS!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Morgul Lord says:

    My Pop hit Utah Beach on D-Day. His was the first ground unit into St. Mere Eglaise. He saw all the paratroopers dead in the trees. He was medivaced from the Huertgen Forest with frostbite, finished the war in Bavaria.

    His brother, my godfather served in North Africa, Sicily and France. Shot up by the Germans, spent as year in the hospital recovering..

    My mother’s brother was killed on Guam by a Japanese sniper.

    And that doesn’t count my older cousins in the Army Army Corps, Navy and merchant marine.

    Liked by 10 people

  19. LeastInterestingManInTheWorld says:

    I like to say Thank You to each of you for all the personal stories, I can never repay your loved ones service or the gift it provided me but I can help others remember what they did.

    Liked by 7 people

  20. IMO says:

    Remembering Pearl Harbor and our beloved Veterans they will always be our National Treasure.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paco Loco says:

      When I lived in Lanikai ( Windward Oahu), my neighbor, a crusty single gal in her early 70s, told me a yarn about how she and her teenage brother were walking in the Lanikai hills on the morning of Dec. 7 1941. Beautiful views of the Mokalua Islands and torqoise blue bay all the way to Kaneohe Naval Airstation. They could see the black smoke raising up from the fires on the airbase and wondered what was happening. They watched two Jap Kate’s making an attack on the airfield and dropped their bombs on the base. As she and her brother watched, one of the Kate’s turned and flew right over the head and seeing the red “meatballs” on the wings they immediately knew that it was a Jap attack. As the plane turned back towards Kaneohe, it was so low that she and her brother could see the tail gunners face and the both raised their hands and gave him “the finger”. Brave American kids! The gunner wasn’t amused, and fired a burst from his machine gun towards them and fortunately missed. True story.

      Liked by 5 people

  21. Louis Wood says:

    My mother’s birthday. She was one year old that morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Donna in Oregon says:

    I was sad to read that for the first time, there will be no survivors of the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor ceremonies this year. The remaining 5 couldn’t make it.

    Visitors to Pearl Harbor today are stirred by the USS Arizona Memorial, the hull of the sunken ship from which our nation’s flag flies. On the path to the memorial, one can see the poem that First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt carried with her during those long years of horror and suffering.

    Dear Lord,

    Lest I continue
    My complacent way,
    Help me to remember
    Somehow out there
    A man died for me today.
    As long as there be war,
    I then must
    Ask and answer
    Am I worth dying for?

    http://www.pearlharborhistoricsites.org/pearl-harbor/arizona-memorial

    Liked by 3 people

  23. It is amazing that despite the death and destruction that occurred, and would still follow, the tide of the War in the Pacific against the Japanese turned about six months later at Midway. Our Navy, and especially our Naval aviators, were facing off with one of the best navies in the world, and certainly the best naval aviators. Here in Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation, there are a few Navajo Code Talkers left. Soon, they will be gone, as well.

    Liked by 8 people

    • joebkonobi says:

      There’s a great book by Chester Nez, titled Code Talker. A great read. Those Navajos were some great soldiers and patriots!

      Liked by 3 people

      • auntiefran413 says:

        I read Code Talkers years ago and have great respect for those men! Theirs was a “code” the Japanese couldn’t break! I’ve often wondered how many lives they saved.

        Like

  24. Monadnock says:

    I stood in front of that wall one afternoon in February in the late 90s.

    While I stood I became aware of an older man standing nearby, about even with me. He was older, don’t know how old (I was 33).

    I glanced over and quickly realized that he had tears streaming down his face. His shoulders shook slightly, and before I looked away I noted a small woman, looking roughly his age, standing close to him on the other side, holding one of his hands with both of hers. He was looking at a particular spot on the wall, or so it seemed to me.

    I looked away at that point. Clearly he was mourning a lost friend/relative/shipmate; regardless, I felt like I was intruding, so I quietly turned and walked away. To this day, I can’t recall that moment without tearing up.

    I’ve always wondered who he was.

    Liked by 7 people

  25. 17CatsInTN says:

    Both my parents served in WWII, my dad in the Army and my mother in the Marines. Many of their brothers and sisters served as well. We only have one family picture from that time of my mother. She was a Rigger, Staff Sergeant and never let anyone, including my dad and all her brothers and sisters, forget she outranked them all! I am so grateful for their service because they literally saved the known world at that time.

    Liked by 10 people

  26. Chester02 says:

    After Pearl Harbor, my Dad and his brother Carl enlisted. My Dad in the Army Air Corps, his brother in the Navy. Thankfully, my Dad never went overseas, but his brother was assigned to U.S.S. Morrison(DD-560).The destroyer took part in several pacific campaigns, but was lost to a kamikaze attack on 4 May 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa. my uncle was killed along with 151 of his shipmates, His body was never recovered.

    Liked by 8 people

  27. olderwiser21 says:

    Thank you to everyone for their personal comments and stories here today. It has been a wonderful history lesson and good reminder to us all that there were real people with real families, real suffering, etc., that went through this on behalf of America. I am struck by the amount of CTH contributors who have a direct relative who was involved in WWII. Maybe that is why we have all found each other on this site. Good people.

    Liked by 4 people

  28. Zimbalistjunior says:

    Thank you SD and amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Charlotte Powell Brooks says:

    The Greatest Generation. For many of them, it was all in a days work and they were proud to write a blank check and find any way possible to do their part and serve. They were truly Amazing Americans and I have and always will be extremely grateful and in total awe.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. andyocoregon says:

    General Curtis LeMay’s B-29 bomb groups paid the Japanese back big time for the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This War Department film documents how they nearly destroyed all of Tokyo in 1945.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Mac says:

    Just an observation. My Dad never fought the Japanese but was stationed in Japan during the Occupation. He was very well informed about Japanese history and fully aware of their atrocities against all and sundry during WWII.

    That said, he absolutely loved his time in Japan, actually learned enough Japanese to be considered proficient, and had a great deal of respect for the Japanese people. I asked him one time how, knowing so well what horrific deeds the Japanese had committed as occupiers, he could like them so much. He sat for a while thinking on his answer, and then he told me that while he knew other Japanese had committed those crimes, he just couldn’t have anything but appreciation for people who had been so kind and welcoming to him during his time in their country.

    I think he, as an American, had a really hard time reconciling those two so totally different sides of the Japanese psyche. I’m proud of him for being able to see past such monstrous and undoubted evil to find the gentle goodness that was also there.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Ospreyzone says:

    The Japanese justly paid a very high price for the cowardly attack they launched on the United states December 7th 1941. While it cannot undo the pain and sorrow we feel for our brave soldiers lost that day, it gives me some comfort knowing that the subsequent lesson we imparted to the Japanese people will never be forgotten by them, at least in my lifetime.

    I only wish I had the same confidence that those who attacked us on September 11, 2001, inflicting even more losses, were able to experience and internalize a similar reproach. Even though many have enlisted and bravely fought the war on terror, including my own sons, I truly fear that the handful of terrorists so far made to pay are but foot soldiers supported by a more obscure apparatus that has yet to settle up.

    Liked by 4 people

  33. dep333 says:

    On this day of remembrance which has spotlighted the shrinking number of true hero’s that survived such a horrible tragedy, I’d like to spread the word about Smiths Union Bar – the original watering hole of the U.S.S. Arizona.

    The link below gives more information but this historical landmark is in trouble. Its the last original WWII bar left in HI and its at risk of being shut down. We came across this amazing place when we went to visit our son, who is station at Pearl Harbor with the Navy, back in September. At the time, we were just looking for a great local dive bar. We had no idea of its historical significance. Not only is it the best damn bar I’ve ever been to, its pretty much the same today as it was back then. But, due to the insane cost of real estate in Hawaii and the decline of surrounding Chinatown, the building owner (who leases to the bar owner) is looking to sell when the lease is up, which is soon.

    I’ve only been there once, but my heart would break if it actually had to close. So if you’re ever in HI, make this as important of a stop as the Memorial. In the meantime, I believe theres a fund raising campaign going on to help save it.

    https://visitpearlharbor.org/smiths-union-bar-ussarizonas-watering-hole/

    Liked by 3 people

  34. railer says:

    When the war began, my father was a young Canadian boy out in the sticks, joined the Canadian Army and went across the ocean onboard the Queen Mary. He eventually took the guided tour through Sicily, Italy and Belgium. He never spoke about it with me or anybody that I know of. After he passed away, his sister spoke with my sister and told the story about his homecoming. HIs mother had died when he was young and his older sisters were kind of surrogates for him. He told her some things he’d been through. She said he was kind of a mess, yesteryear’s version of PTSD I suppose, had seen a bit too much carnage for a young boy’s eyes. It’s very sad, but I’m glad we remember them all today.

    Liked by 4 people

  35. Keln says:

    I obviously have no WWII memories since I wasn’t born until 1978, but I was stationed in Pearl when I was in the Navy, and for a long time my boat (submarine) would park along a pier that juts out into the part of the harbor across from Ford Island and the old Battleship Row. We could see the Arizona Memorial (and eventually the Missouri) just over the water from us maybe 300 yards away or so. It was really a prime location to hang out topside when in port with just the view, and its historical significance alone.

    It always seemed so strange to me that ship (the Arizona) still poking through the water like that, just sitting there with a memorial built over the top of it, still slowly leaking oil after all of these years giving off an ever-present rainbow like sheen, like a giant wound that never quite healed.

    We’re long past the point where it could have been raised, even if piece by piece due to its cracked hull, bodies recovered, oils and fuels all removed, and the site dredged and cleared. Even if they wanted to put a memorial at the spot still, which I think most everyone agrees with, it could still have been removed after the war.

    But we didn’t. It serves as a makeshift tomb for the dead, and likely will forever at this point. For some reason I can’t quite put my finger on but somehow understand just the same, we collectively decided to leave it the way it is, environmental and operational hazards be damned. We didn’t leave the World Trade Center towers a wreck for remembrance, we built anew on top of the rubble. The attack on Pearl Harbor was different. It almost demanded a wound that never be healed lest we forget what happened on that Sunday morning.

    I visited the Memorial a lot. Not just because I was a history buff, but living and working in Pearl kind of connects you to those events of years ago. There were still really old buildings and walls that had bullet ricochets and holes in them from strafing zeroes. Just a part of the lousy paint job on the base that most people walked by and never gave mind to.

    On several of my forays to the Memorial, I saw Japanese tourists. One would think the Japanese would avoid the place, as it would be shameful for anyone and the Japanese particularly avoid shame like the plague. But they do visit. And they are very reverent when they do so. I even saw a few tear up. I’ve been to Japan many times, so I always found this odd, as the Japanese are very touchy about the subject of WWII and refrain from acknowledging any bad thing they did in the war or the longer war in Asia before it.

    Perhaps these were descendants of Japanese pilots that died there, but somehow I doubt it. One thing is certain when it comes to the Arizona Memorial and the ship itself underneath; there is no ignoring the truth of it all, because we refused to close that wound and left it for all to see for eternity. Even those who caused it.

    Liked by 5 people

    • military midwit 33T says:

      Keln, your retelling of the Japanese visiting the memorial at Pearl brought back a memory for me. In 1978 I was stationed in Korea and decided to take a week of leave and visit Japan. One of my last stops was at the memorial at ground zero in Hiroshima. It was very sobering. Of course I was respectful, but a few of the Japanese girls taking photos at the eternal flame were giggling. It was so out of place….

      Like

  36. Zorro says:

    One day I was looking at pics of Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial. One of the pics shows the wall with the names of the men. Lo and behold I zoomed in and there was the name of a sailor with my surname. It’s not common surname and I hadn’t heard any relatives mention this person, perhaps he was a distant relative.

    My dad was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood on 12/7/1941. He was in the special service. He was a musician and entertained the other men. I have pics of him playing for the guys on a troop carrier in the Pacific. He toured the area of the Philippines down to Australia.

    What great stories in this blog, bless your families and their sacrifice. And may there sacrifice never go to waste for the likes of these socialists and our corrupt government officials.

    Like

  37. military midwit 33T says:

    Thanks for the stories and remembrances folks.
    Tonight at supper I mentioned to my mother that today is Pearl Harbor Day. She said that back in the Fall of 1941 she and my dad had just met at a social for soldiers at the army base. He said he planned to marry her as soon as his enlistment ended in early 1942. (She was a looker and I bet many a soldier at that dance felt the same way my dad did). December 7th changed all of his plans. Uncle Sam extended his enlistment until the war in the Pacific ended. They did get married during the War but they were separated for long periods of time as he was moved around as a trainer and cadre for new troops. He even spent time in the horse cavalry. Like many he was in the massing of troops out at Ft Lewis as the invasion of Japan was being anticipated. Two A-bombs saved untold American lives.
    The men who served on the multiple war fronts are Heros and they will soon be gone. It is proper to remember them, both the living and the dead.
    We lost dad about 15 years ago, but mom is one month shy of her 102d birthday and going strong. (A little over two years ago she had some health issues, and she set a goal to “live long enough to vote against Hilary”, and she may have to set another two year goal because Hilary just won’t go away)

    Liked by 5 people

  38. Peoria Jones says:

    I just had to sign in to say thank you, Sundance, and everyone for the remembrances. It is such a momentous occasion, words escape me to convey the magnitude of emotion and pride in being an American. I want newer generations to understand this – the lives that were so richly sacrificed, and what these sacrifices stand for.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. auntiefran413 says:

    I was far too young for December 7, 1941 to have had any meaning for me, but I do recall my mother crying and dad soothing her on that day. Dad was 4F and never sal military service, but he did go to work as a Pullman conductor on the trains moving troops and trainees all over the country Like many others, he served in his own way.

    My Uncle Ray (what a great guy) went in on Omaha Beach on D-Day. I don’t know how it happened, but he had a terribly deformed right hand as a result of the invasion. He shook hands with his turned left hand.

    My one and only REAL memory of the war was on the day of a carnival at our church/school. Out of a clear blue, the church bells began ringing and several hundred people fell to their knees. The adults realized that the Japanese had surrendered and the war was over. I’ve never forgotten that day!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Southern Son says:

    SALUTE!
    To All Veterans and current Military, and their Families.
    Y’all are Our Treasure.
    We Do Appreciate you, and your Service/Sacrifices.
    Thank You.

    Like

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