7 December 1941

Posted: Friday, December 07, 2007 by Travis Cody in
24

"This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 27 June 1936

I published some of the following words as a Thursday 13 submission last year on 7 Dec. The words stand alone, as they did a year ago.

But I was a young blogger then. This year, I can add some things to make the words a little more special. And I think it is necessary that I do so.

This is an important day. We must remember these events. We owe it to the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and other service personnel who fought for the freedoms we enjoy. We owe it to the people who loved them...those who waited for them, and wrote them letters, and sent them photographs, and searched the news wires for any small word of them, and dreaded the Western Union man.

We must never take these events for granted.

I honor those who gave "the last full measure of devotion". I honor those who persevered through the horrors of combat and came home.

To the Greatest Generation, I say thank you.



I dedicate this special remembrance to...

...my grandfather, who lied about his age so he could join the United States Merchant Marine. He doesn't talk about his service, but I have asked him if he would write it for me so I can have it after he's gone. I know that he served as a Seaman from early 1944 until the end of the war. I found his name on the Manchester NH World War II Veterans Honor Roll. He was barely 17 in 1945.

...the 1,177 men who went down with USS Arizona.

...the additional 1,158 service personnel killed during the attack.

...the 68 civilians killed during the attack.

...the 1,178 military personnel and civilians wounded during the attack.

...rescue and medical personnel who braved oil slicks and searing heat to pull victims to safety and render first aid and comfort.



...the numerous and varied acts of heroism above and beyond the call, such as Ship's Cook Third Class Dorie Miller USN, serving on USS West Virginia, who carried many of his wounded shipmates to safety and attempted to rescue his mortally wounded Captain. Then he manned a 50 caliber Browning anti-aircraft gun for which he had never been trained.



...the crew of USS Nevada, who managed to get their battleship underway during the attack and tried to steam out of harm's way, ultimately running aground in order to avoid being sunk in the middle of the harbor.



...the pilots and service crews who were able to get a few P-40's and P-36's off the ground from Haleiwa airfield. These planes engaged enemy aircraft and shot down as many as 11, losing 4 of their own.



...Navy and civilian salvage crews, who worked for more than 20,000 hours on over 5,000 dives. Their efforts helped put 11 ships back into service from 1942 through 1944. They were also able to re-float 4 sunken battleships, which were ultimately returned to service and saw action against Japan later in the war.



...all veterans of the Pearl Harbor attack.

To all who performed above and beyond the call in the early morning hours of 7 December 1941, and in the subseqent days leading to 15 August 1945 when Japan surrendered and World War II came to an end, I offer my deepest respect and gratitude.



"Yesteray, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Congress, 8 December 1941.



Today in Hawaii, a memorial will be dedicated to USS Oklahoma.





24 comments:

  1. Jeni says:

    Trav - that was a fantastic tribute to those who died, those who performed such acts of bravery and heroism at Pearl Harbor. It was most certainly a "Day that will live in infamy" was it not?

    No, I feel kind of guilty cause I came here to tell you I'd like you to come play a game of Viral Tag. Come by my blog for your instructions waiting there.

  1. Anndi says:

    Lest we forget my dear... I'm so glad you never will.

    HUGS

  1. Roger says:

    Great post Travis & Tribute!

  1. Excellent post Travis, the video is powerful, thanks.

    I will never forget.

  1. Matt-Man says:

    I knew that you would post about this. Well done as always Trav. Cheers!!

  1. Julie says:

    So comprehensive and filled with passion! Thanks Travis.

  1. I want to check out some of the TV specials on this that I'm sure I'll see run today. WWII was such a fascinating war, and so destructive.

  1. Dixie says:

    Trav, I knew that you would do a wonderful tribute today. Thank you!

    SMOOCHES~

  1. I too knew what I would find here today....well done.

    At some point this weekend I will watch both Midway and Tora Tora Tora...which I own.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    What a great tribute.

  1. wonderful post and thanks for remembering!!

    smiles, bee

  1. I knew I could count on finding a wonderfully written tribute to Pearl Harbor Day here on your blog, Trav. Awesome job!

  1. lisa says:

    nice, Travis. I hope your grandfather does write about his experience for you. It would be a nice piece of history to have.

  1. Great post and excellent info! I'll be back to check out all the links.

    Make sure your Grandfather gives you the history. It's important to your family. My Dad rarely talks about his service...but it is oh so interesting when he does.

  1. Excellent post Travis. You just do this so well. Just like Sarge Charlie does. Have a great day. :)

  1. Bond says:

    May their souls be calm and never forgotten....

    Excellent post Travis...I knew it would be here today Sir

  1. Jeff B says:

    Once again I thank you for your service to uor country and for remembering all the others in whos footsteps you followed.

  1. Travis says:

    Jeni: Don't feel guilty - I'll check out the tag game this weekend.

    Ann: I'm not wired to forget, only to remember.

    Roger: Thank you Sir.

    Sarge: I'm glad I stumbled on that video for the words combined with the images.

    Matt: I'm honored to be able to do this.

    Julie: I'm really pleased with what I was able to achieve this time for the post.

    Charles: Indeed.

    Dix: My honor and my pleasure.

    Katherine: That is also my tradition.

    Akelamalu: Thank you.

  1. Travis says:

    Bee: I think that I wrote two of my best posts this week.

    TJ: I'm glad you stopped by.

    Lisa: You're right about that. In fact, it's probably time for another reminder.

    RLL: I could spend hours link-hopping with this topic.

    Sandee: It comes from love.

    V: Fine words. There is a biography I'm reading now. The author writes as though he is talking with himself as the 19 year old Marine he was in the Pacific. And he is trying to calm that soul.

    Jeff: Regrettably my service is only in the remembrance of deeds and service performed by others. But I accept your thanks on behalf of my buddies.

  1. Linda says:

    Thank you, Travis, for this very moving and informative post. We should never ever forget the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice to insure our freedom or those who served along next to them.

  1. Turnbaby says:

    Your excellent words are a fitting tribute.

  1. Meribah says:

    Those pictures are incredible! I think Dorie Miller should have gotten the Medal of Honor. It's a pity that he didn't.

  1. Travis says:

    Linda: I always wonder how I would perform under those circumstances. I hope I would do well.

    Turn: Thank you dear.

    Meri: Well, the Navy Cross is pretty special. But I agree that his actions were worthy of the Medal of Honor.

  1. Dana says:

    Thank you, Trav. That was great.