7 December 1941

Posted: Monday, December 07, 2009 by Travis Cody in
17

We briefly interrupt this hiatus for an important message...

Today is the 68th commemoration of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which launched the United States into nearly four years of global war.

I've been reading that nearly all of the last few veterans of World War I have left us this year. Mr Frank Buckles is the last known surviving American veteran. The last Australian veteran passed earlier this year, as did the last British veterans.

One day we'll say the same of our World War II veterans. It is the nature of time.

There are only about 3,000 veterans of the Pearl Harbor attacks still alive today. It is important to remember this history, if for no other reason than to honor the service and sacrifice of those who gave a piece of themselves to the defense of their country and their fellow citizens. We must never take these events for granted. We must not relegate them to some past that has no relevance to our present.

Simply, we must remember...


...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, and others manning small harbor craft, 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. He earned the Navy Cross for his actions.


...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 subsequent days leading to 15 August 1945 when Japan surrendered and World War II came to an end, I offer my deepest respect and gratitude.

I wish those who remain peace in the twilight of their lives. They earned it.



This has been a brief hiatus interlude. Carry on.

17 comments:

  1. Anndi says:

    Canada's last surviving WWI veteran is Mr. John Babcock who currently resides in Washington State and served in the U.S. Military during WWII.

    Lest we forget.

  1. yes, they did earn every bit of peace, Trav. Thanks for carrying on the memory of this fateful day.

    HUGS!

  1. jennifer says:

    I want to visit the memorial one day.

    This post was so good. Mike Golch posted a good one about Pearl Harbor today too.

    Have a nice week Travis.

  1. I've been so busy getting ready for finals I didn't even realize this was Dec 7. Man, I've got to pay more attention.

  1. If you ever get the chance to visit it, go to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. They do a wonderful film presentation before taking you out to the Arizona.

  1. Bond says:

    I knew when I did my post last night that sending people here would be the correct thing to do.

    Thank you Sir for another wonderful memorial

  1. Like minds think alike I was honored to do the posting that I did today.My Dad told me of the radio broadcast that was played during the attack.I ended up serving first in the Merchant Marine and than in the U.S.Army Air Force.He ultimently ended up serving as part of the occupaiton forces in Japan at the end of the war.

  1. Very well done, Travis. I remember my grandfather telling me stories about the news of that tragic day, and how it changed his life - and everyone's - forever.

  1. Meribah says:

    That view of the USS Arizona is very touching; shiver-inducing, actually. A fine tribute.

  1. JohnH985 says:

    Thank you for reminding us.

  1. I'd like to go there and see if for myself. They have my respect and gratitude.

    Nicely done, Travis.

  1. Thanks for this, Trav. My dad was the Air Force weather forecaster for Col. Tibbets and the Enola Gay crew's practice runs . . . I have visited the Arizona Memorial, too.

  1. Kanani says:

    Every time we flew back to Hawaii to see family, we always made two stops:
    1. Pearl Harbor
    2. Punchbowl Cemetery

    Both had a meaningful impact, even though I was small.

  1. Anonymous says:
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  1. Dana says:

    Awesome post...

  1. I wish those who remain peace in the twilight of their lives. They earned it.

    Amen, my friend. Amen.