Sunday, December 7, 2008

Remembering Pearl Harbor!

“We, as a nation, cannot wait for the Pearl Harbor of the information age. We must increase our vigilance to tackle this problem before we are hit with a surprise attack.”
~ Fred Thompson

“Today, the US spends less on defense as a percentage of our economy than we did at any time since he Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. For the world's only superpower, that is an invitation to very serious trouble.”
~ Steve Forbes

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day!
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. This was the beginning of the United State’s involvement in World War II. Pearl Harbor Day, Always on December 7Th, commemorates this attack . The attack began at dawn December 7, 1941. It crippled the U.S. Pacific Fleet. It Also launched the U.S. into World War II.

During the attack at Pearl Harbor, over 2,400 American serviceman and 68 civilians were killed. Five of the eight battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk or sinking, and all of our ships were damaged.

On Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, U.S. flags are to be flown at half staff.

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor most Americans were opposed to entering another European war. It took the deadly attack on Pearl Harbor to swing public opinion to support our involvement in the war. The public was unaware of the evidence that we now have that Roosevelt provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor and actually withheld information from the military commanders stationed there, which if furnished to them, would have probably prevented the attack.

The attack sank four U.S. Navy battleships (two of which were raised and returned to service late in the war) and damaged four more. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, and one mine layer, destroyed 188 aircraft, and caused personnel losses of 2,402 killed and 1,282 wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not hit. Japanese losses were minimal, at 29 aircraft and five midget submarines, with 65 servicemen killed or wounded.

Many groups of people , especially those linked with Pearl Harbor survivors or those who died from the attack, participate in special services to remember the loss of that day. Memorial services are held at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. Other activities include: wreath-laying ceremonies; speeches by those associated with the event; luncheons; media stories on survivors’ memories of the Pearl Harbor attack; and school activities to educate students about the attack on Pearl Harbor in relation to World War II history.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is not a federal holiday. Government offices, schools, businesses and other organizations do not close.

The Japanese military had hoped that the attack on Pearl Harbor would prevent the United States from increasing her influence in the Pacific. However, the events in Pearl Harbor actually led to the escalation of World War II. The day after the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and so entered World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt in a speech to Congress stated that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was “a date which will live in infamy”. Shortly afterwards, Germany also declared war on the United States. In the months that followed the attack, the slogan “Remember Pearl Harbor” swept the United States and radio stations repeatedly played a song of the same name.

In 1991, which marked the 50Th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Congress established the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal. This is also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivor's Medal and can be awarded to any veteran of the United States military who were present in or around Pearl Harbor during the attack by the Japanese military. The medal can be awarded to civilians, who were killed or injured in the attack.

Memorials have been built to remember the day. For example, the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor is a marble memorial built over the sunken USS Arizona, which was dedicated in 1962. The memorial remembers all military personnel who were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack. The memorial was designed by architect Alfred Preis, an Austrian-born resident who lived in Honolulu and was placed at a detainment camp after the Pearl Harbor attack as part of the internment policy of Japanese and German Americans at the time.

Another memorial that commemorates Pearl Harbor Day is the USS Utah, a battleship that was attacked and sunk in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. A memorial to honor the crew of the USS Utah was dedicated on the northwest shore of Ford Island, near the ship's wreck, in 1972. The ship was added to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989. It is also Utah’s official state ship. Memorabilia, books, and movies about the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 have also been made available to the public over the years.

I have never been to Hawaii so I have never seen the ships resting on the bottom of the ocean there. I used to Square dance with and old gentleman who has been dead for many years now. I heard him talk about the memorials there. He had been to see them. He was a survivor of Pearl Harbor. He said what was really eerie to him was that as he stood there looking down through the sea to the bottom where the ships were resting, He took a moment to bow his head in Prayer and that as he raised his eyes after his prayers and looked around, there were just as many Japanese there as there were Americans. He also said that he wanted to hate them every one but that something inside him wouldn't let him. And that he reckoned they had a right to be there looking same as he did. He added that it wasn't easy to forgive what a man saw in times of war.

I think I am inclined to agree with him even though I have never been to war. I have a dear friend who was in Vietnam and having witnessed a couple of his flashbacks I can only thank God that I have never been to war and continue to pray that No one Else I love ever has to suffer the same memories as he does.

If you know a soldier or a veteran, just shake his hand and say thanks next time you see him. Regardless of what war he is a relic of or what branch of the military he is from.. Just thank him for all that they do to make sure we continue to live with all of our freedoms and rights.
Pray for our servicemen who are away from home this Christmas season! Have a wonderful day!


Big Time said...

I would love to go see the memorials. I understand that oil still seeps up from the USS Arizona. Being a veteran, I cherish any day that honor's our service men and women.

I was just thinking yesterday as I drove home from Augusta, that I wish the Air Force would take me back. I would love to go to Iraq or Afganistan to help out the cause.

I might be too old to go but I would still volunteer in a heart beat.

I love you Patsy. Reuben

Pblacksaw said...

Big time~ I would love to see them too, Of course the fact that they are in Hawaii doesn't hurt their appeal at all . Haha. I'm not sure the air force would take you. they might know of someone else who would though. There are a lot of americans over there working. I am told those jobs bring big danger and big bucks. Who knows they might even still accept you. By the way missed you at the shower Saturday! Guess who had to do the games???
I love you!

CarloBlogg said...

I have great respect with soldiers, (well, my father's an airforce pilot back in the day). As the Marines' saying goes, "You may pay our salaries with your taxes, but we repay it with our lives."
May God Bless them.

Pblacksaw said...

Carlo blogg~ I also have a great respect for all soldiers. So many do pay with their lives for our freedoms. I would say they are sadly underpaid for the hours they work.
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