07 December 2011

Humpday Happenings...
I'd like to take this day to get you all thinking a little...no harm in that, right?
Our WHO SAID THAT? quote of the day will be a "given", in that the person who said it is featured in today's post, so no guessing involved...it's a "gimme", and is found farther down, so keep on reading.
*** Today is rather somber, in that it as SEVENTY YEARS AGO today that the Japanese launched a surprise attack on our forces based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Seventy years...that's a decent chunk of time, no matter who you are.
What started out as a typical Sunday morning soon became a scene of devastation and carnage as over 2400 sailors were killed (many as they slept, or were trying to escape the destruction).
The WIKI for this is here:
This attack precipitated the entry of the United States into World War 2 with Franklin Roosevelt's "Day of Infamy" speech the following day.
And it was later, on 11 December, 1941, that Germany and Italy declared war on us, to which we reciprocated the same day.
Now, there has been controversy over whether or not the U.S. had "advance warning" about the imminent attack on our naval base at Pearl, and to this day, no definitive conclusions have been forthcoming.
But the speculation continues, nevertheless.
The commander of Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel was relieved of command in mid-December, and spent the better part of his career defending his position.
Later, senior officers close to him at the time of the attack, testified he did all he could, given the limited resources and information.
It is contended that Kimmel became a scapegoat for the failures of HIS superiors, as did Army Lt. General Walter Short.
Admiral Chester Nimitz defended Kimmel by saying if notice had been given for the approaching Japanese carriers, Kimmel would have tried to intercept them, and given the age of the U.S. battleships and the speed of the opposing aircraft carriers, it is believed that we would have lost our ships in deep water, costing even more lives.
The WIKI for Admiral Kimmel can be found here:
And while the debates over procedure will no doubt continue for many years, the veterans of that attack become fewer in number.
Reuters has a great story about one such veteran (with photos) found HERE:
What amazes me is that here we had (in 1941) ALL these (in many cases) TEENAGERS awakening to the sounds of bombs, fire, moans of their shipmates, and destruction raining down upon them...on a Sunday morning...
Today, most of them have passed away, and it is a profound sense of pride (and loss) that I feel when these few veterans remember that morning and their fallen shipmates.
To ask SO much from men SO young in such a conflict seems overwhelming...and yet they answered this nation's call.
Men lined up at induction centers immediately after the attack.
And our nation also rounded up our Asian population and sent them to internment camps farther inland...as a "precaution" against sabotage.
Having read about the history behind this attack and it's aftermath, I can honestly say that this nation was never the same after the attack.
Perhaps Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto summed it up best when he stated (after the attack):
"I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant...and fill him with a terrible resolve."
How prophetic were those words.
Here's the story about a 90-year old veteran "still on patrol" at Pearl:
About 120 survivors will be in attendance today, and several urns containing the ashes of veterans will be returned to their ships and fallen comrades.
I feel it's our duty as the progeny of the Greatest Generation to keep the memories alive...retain the faith that our fathers employed across the Pacific and European theaters of operation during WW2.
We owe that much to them that served back then...we owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to those that currently serve.
Remember Pearl Harbor, and how it brought this nation together.
I think it's a mixed blessing for us all whenever an event as tragic as Pearl Harbor (or 9/11) is the driving force that brings a people...a nation together for a common cause.
We hate to think that ONLY death and tragedy will galvanize a country into action, and yet, time and again, we see that such things do exactly that.
And yet, without such events (and those that perpetrate them against us), can we even hope to avoid the evils of this world totally and without harm?
I tend to not think so.
I believe that every now and then, we NEED a swift "kick in the pants" to roust us from our complacency, and spur us FORWARD.
As is often the case, the PRICE we pay for our complacency is high.
But do we not come out a better nation as a result of our actions, however late in coming they are?
I would think so.
Perhaps we need to remain "at the ready" more often...
Our vigilance will pay off, no matter what the circumstances are, and no matter who the enemy is.
No heads in the sand, eyes and ears open...watching, listening...paying attention.
THAT is how this nation remains prepared...and how this nation will advance through any adversity.
Yes...remember Pearl Harbor and remember our vets.
Be well, make a difference to someone , and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


Slamdunk said...

Good post Bob. I love those history mysteries like did the US ignore intelligence that Pearl Harbor was going to happen. Certainly, the facts are there--either stubbornly ignored (over-confidence) or something less respectable (wake up call for war). Unfortunately, the scapegoats fell and the tough questions of those above were not pursued fully.

Bob G. said...

I like those shows as well.
One of the really good ones is MYTHS OF PEARL HARBOR - 2 hrs. long.

Interestingly enough WE fired then FIRST SHOTS in the attack, when the USS Ward (destroyer on picket duty outside the harbor entrance) fired upon what apepared to be a midget submarine.
(Four subs were used in the attack and events immediately preceding the attack)

And a "rescue point" for Japanese flyers (with damaged aircraft) was located on an island just THIRTY MILES from Pearl...at least ONE flyer used it and was injured in the forced landing.

There are tons of material out there, and thankfully, so many stories that should serve to keep the remembrance of that day in our minds (and hearts) for a LONG time.

Thanks a lot for stopping on by today and commenting.

Stay safe out there.

CWMartin said...

You are definately at your best on posts like this. Good Job!

Bob G. said...

I'm making a promise to myself - NEXT life...a HISTORY teacher...lol!
(or ahve my OWN show on the History Channel...either one will work.

Thanks for taking time to stop on by and comment.
You stay safe up near "Lake Scrappy".

indysunshine said...

many interesting things about pearl harber indeed. it was like 9/11 back in the day. it was said that all the newer ships had been moved a week or so earlier to the california area and mostly all the older ships were being stationed there in pearl habor. that the president at the time had prior knowlege and let it all go down.

just like a week or so ago when they found all those troops ashes in a landfill instead of being properly disposed. but,what am i really thinking here in the usa babies end up in landfills everyday. its called abortion. eithor way its disgusting.

Bob G. said...

There's a lot abou the attackon Pearl we NOW know, as well as a lot we might NEVER know.

ANd the landfill analogy to aborted babies is a good one (yes, I call them that, too)...ithat fact that people have become SO "disposable" is (to me) reprehensible.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

You stay safe down there.