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Subdeacon Joe

It Was Only 70 Years Ago

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My father was in the Navy at that time. He joined in 1926 & retired in 1956. He told me that his Destroyer was on the way to Pearl and the ship was due to arrive on December 7th, however they had some engine trouble and came in a day late.

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My father was in the Navy at that time. He joined in 1926 & retired in 1956. He told me that his Destroyer was on the way to Pearl and the ship was due to arrive on December 7th, however they had some engine trouble and came in a day late.

 

Uncle Bill, [87] who sometimes does BBQ for The Cowboys, has told me his stories about Pearl Harbor when he was a 17 yr old swabee. He and an oarsman and had the shocking and horrible task of recovering bodies and parts into their skiff...18 hours non-stop was their shift he said.

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Just read that the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association is disbanding. Too few of them left to continue. Sad but inevitable. :(

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One of my instructors in the police academy was a retired FBI agent who, as a young seaman, had been blown off the deck of the California at Pearl.

Bless 'em all.

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DECEMBER 7

David Shribman, UExpress, 4 Dec 2010

There are lessons to be learned here at Pearl Harbor. Don't put your aircraft wingtip to wingtip. Don't cluster the ships of your fleet in one harbor so closely that the group of them acquires the name Battleship Row. Don't assume that a gaggle of planes headed your way on a quiet Sunday morning is a set of your own B17s flying in from California. Do not discount an intercepted cable that reveals unusual foreign interest in an American military installation just because it is translated by a woman.

 

All of these are important legacies from the attack on Pearl Harbor that transformed Dec. 7 from the last day of the first week of the last month into a date that would live in infamy. Some 69 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the wounds here and on the American mainland are still deep, still raw. More than Antietem, more than Gettysburg, this may be, perhaps with New York's Ground Zero, the Pentagon's 9/11 memorial and Pennsylvania's Flight 93 crash site, the most moving place in the nation.

 

Even today, Dec. 7 is one of only five dates in American history -- the others are July 4, Nov. 11, Nov. 22 and Sept. 11 -- that require no year in casual conversation or formal writing.

 

You might not recognize the significance of Aug. 15, but if it is put down as Aug. 15, 1945, you will immediately identify it as V-J Day. You may not remember Aug. 9, but if it is expressed as Aug. 9, 1974, you'll know it was the day Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency. And perhaps the most important date in American history (April 19) has been obscured in the American mind because -- please don't break my heart and tell me schoolchildren don't read this anymore -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow opened his beloved poem by speaking, in the third line, of "the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five," when Paul Revere made his ride, rather than of the 19th of April, 1775, when the shots rang out at Lexington and Concord.

 

But you know what Dec. 7 means, and so will your grandchildren.

 

The tragedy of Pearl Harbor began when six Japanese carriers with heavy escorts sailed 4,000 miles of open seas without being detected by the Americans. The modern mind asks: How can that be? The answer is simple: For the same reason that the French did not detect the British soldiers mounting the Plains of Abraham in 1759 before the Battle of Quebec, or the British did not detect George Washington's forces preparing their Christmas crossing of the Delaware in 1776.

 

The modern mind forgets: There were no satellites then.

 

The age of the satellite wouldn't dawn for another 16 years. For the entire sweep of history until 1957, humankind slept under only natural satellites like the moon, or planets or stars, which is why the launching of Sputnik (another signal date for you: Oct. 4) was so disquieting to Americans, and why Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev knew how unsettled he would make his ideological rivals by braying that "America sleeps under a Soviet moon."

 

But in those 16 years -- from Pearl Harbor to Sputnik -- the world would change at a dizzying rate.

 

The United States would be transformed into the strongest military power and most powerful banker in the history of the globe. Soviet Russia would be transformed from a largely agrarian despotism into a mighty industrial power with nuclear weapons and rocket boosters capable of achieving Earth orbit (but not, as Richard Nixon would make clear in his blustery "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow two years later, able to produce a decent dishwasher). The Cold War would break out with crises in Greece, Korea, Vietnam, Hungary and elsewhere. A new scramble for influence would begin in the Caribbean and Africa. McCarthyism would rise in America and a re-examination of Stalinism would roil the Soviet Union.

 

In those 16 years, the United States would end segregation in the armed forces and begin to integrate its schools, lunch counters and public accommodations. John F. Kennedy would be transformed from an obscure officer in the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Training Center into a national political figure. The Dodgers, pennant winners in Brooklyn when Pearl Harbor was attacked, would be Los Angeles-bound by the time Sputnik was launched. The British Empire would be gone, Israel would be born. So, too, would many other new nations, some of whose names, like Transjordan and Ceylon, already have disappeared. Within a month of Pearl Harbor, Country Joe McDonald and Charlie Rose would be born. Within a month of Sputnik, Louis B. Mayer and Christian Dior would be dead.

 

The surprise attack still aches in the American memory. But it spawned a great American awakening.

 

So the next time you think that you are living in an era of unprecedented change, ponder how much happened in the 16 years after Pearl Harbor. Consider that programmable computers have been around for 74 years, that computer games have existed for 48 years, that Ethernet networking has been here for 37 years, that IBM first produced a home PC 29 years ago, that the Macintosh was available 26 years ago and that Windows came out 25 years ago.

 

So perhaps the great lesson of Pearl Harbor as we approach its 70th anniversary is more than military.

 

Never again will we present so easy a target to potential adversaries. But now we need to revise our perspective, and consider that for all of the great change we are experiencing now, the greatest change in our history may have begun when 354 Japanese planes arced toward Hawaii, destroying 188 American aircraft and sinking or damaging 18 American warships in a great American tragedy and military defeat.

 

"Pearl Harbor continues to haunt its survivors, as well as their descendants," Thurston Clarke wrote in the evocative volume "Pearl Harbor Ghosts."

 

But as we consider what happened here, let us remember, too, how almost every ship -- though not the USS Utah, USS Arizona or USS Oklahoma -- was put back into service, and that America recovered, and then some.

 

Remember Pearl Harbor, but remember its other lessons, as well.

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Sad thing is this, I have not seen on the news nor heard on the radio even the slightest mention of today being the 70th anniversary of the attack. My flag was the only one I saw flying on the way to work today.

 

:FlagAm:

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Sad thing is this, I have not seen on the news nor heard on the radio even the slightest mention of today being the 70th anniversary of the attack. My flag was the only one I saw flying on the way to work today.

 

:FlagAm:

I've seen a number of stories on both national and local news shows. You must just have missed them. They do tend to put them right at the end of the broadcast.

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Boy, there sure are a lot of hands to shake and Vets to thank when we all get to heaven....

 

.......An honor we will all have one day when we walk the streets of Glory.

 

:FlagAm:

 

God Bless them all! And to the ones left behind.

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I was just reminded about Wake Island, which was attacked a few hours later. Since it is on the other side of the dateline, it is usually given a date of 8 Dec.

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Here is a front page NYTimes article, about the last meeting of the survivors' association:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/us/fewer-veterans-to-remember-pearl-harbor-day.html?_r=1&hp

 

There is an interesting sidebar article there also about the last meeting at Gettysburg of Blue and Gray vets who were there.

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Sad thing is this, I have not seen on the news nor heard on the radio even the slightest mention of today being the 70th anniversary of the attack. My flag was the only one I saw flying on the way to work today.

 

:FlagAm:

All of the flags in my city are flying at half mast today.

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I was just reminded about Wake Island, which was attacked a few hours later. Since it is on the other side of the dateline, it is usually given a date of 8 Dec.

And Clark Field in the PI.

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I'm surprised that neither TCM nor AMC are showing Tora Tora Tora!, or In Harms Way today. Or one of my favorites, Air Force.

Or even From here to Eternity.

 

At least they're not showing that stupid Pearl Harbor mess with Ben Affleck. :wacko:

 

I spoke too soon. I see TCM is showing From Here to Eternity and Task Force tonight.

 

Guess which one I'll watch. :lol:

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All of the flags in my city are flying at half mast today.

 

 

mine too...and it is on the front pages of Yahoo and MSN.

 

the elementary kids [6, 7. 8 yrs old] haven't learned about it yet so I told em :)

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I have enjoyed donating to this organization for many years; their website always gives accurate historical info.

 

Disabled American Veterans

http://www.dav.org

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As I understand it, there were about 84,000 uniformed servicemen on Oahu that day. Only 1800 survive today, mostly over 90. Sorry to see the association cease, but pleased to hear the survivors projeny may take it forward.

 

It is a very important part of our history that we must not forget, both to remember and honor those who were there, but more importantly - for the lessons of the future.

Japan was not considered a serious threat or capable enough of actually attacking us in 1941, even though we had their deciphered comms indicating they planned something big.

 

Harvey

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Local TV station had a 30 second blurb about the East Texas Pearl Harbor survivors assoc. disbanding because there's only 3 left!

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I have enjoyed donating to this organization for many years; their website always gives accurate historical info.

 

Disabled American Veterans

http://www.dav.org

I'm a life member of DAV. Without their help, I would never have been successful in my disability claim with the VA. :wub:

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The modern mind forgets: There were no satellites then.

 

The age of the satellite wouldn't dawn for another 16 years. For the entire sweep of history until 1957, humankind slept under only natural satellites like the moon, or planets or stars, which is why the launching of Sputnik (another signal date for you: Oct. 4) was so disquieting to Americans, and why Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev knew how unsettled he would make his ideological rivals by braying that "America sleeps under a Soviet moon."

 

But in those 16 years -- from Pearl Harbor to Sputnik -- the world would change at a dizzying rate.

 

The United States would be transformed into the strongest military power and most powerful banker in the history of the globe. Soviet Russia would be transformed from a largely agrarian despotism into a mighty industrial power with nuclear weapons and rocket boosters capable of achieving Earth orbit (but not, as Richard Nixon would make clear in his blustery "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow two years later, able to produce a decent dishwasher). The Cold War would break out with crises in Greece, Korea, Vietnam, Hungary and elsewhere. A new scramble for influence would begin in the Caribbean and Africa. McCarthyism would rise in America and a re-examination of Stalinism would roil the Soviet Union.

 

In those 16 years, the United States would end segregation in the armed forces and begin to integrate its schools, lunch counters and public accommodations. John F. Kennedy would be transformed from an obscure officer in the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Training Center into a national political figure. The Dodgers, pennant winners in Brooklyn when Pearl Harbor was attacked, would be Los Angeles-bound by the time Sputnik was launched. The British Empire would be gone, Israel would be born. So, too, would many other new nations, some of whose names, like Transjordan and Ceylon, already have disappeared. Within a month of Pearl Harbor, Country Joe McDonald and Charlie Rose would be born. Within a month of Sputnik, Louis B. Mayer and Christian Dior would be dead.

 

The surprise attack still aches in the American memory. But it spawned a great American awakening.

 

So the next time you think that you are living in an era of unprecedented change, ponder how much happened in the 16 years after Pearl Harbor. Consider that programmable computers have been around for 74 years, that computer games have existed for 48 years, that Ethernet networking has been here for 37 years, that IBM first produced a home PC 29 years ago, that the Macintosh was available 26 years ago and that Windows came out 25 years ago.

The world has changed more in the last 75 years than it has in its entire existence, and possibly more than it will in any comparable time frame in the future.

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:mellow: ONLY 70 years. The Book lists man's years at three score and ten. Babies born that day are 70 years old. The servicemen and women that day are now in their late 80's or 90's. America's greatest generation for sure, but there aren't that many left and growing fewer each day. The sands of time. Both my parents who lived then (my dad served in the South Pacific in the war) are gone.

 

JHC :(

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:mellow: ONLY 70 years. The Book lists man's years at three score and ten. Babies born that day are 70 years old. The servicemen and women that day are now in their late 80's or 90's. America's greatest generation for sure, but there aren't that many left and growing fewer each day. The sands of time. Both my parents who lived then (my dad served in the South Pacific in the war) are gone.

 

JHC :(

 

 

Yep, "only" 70 years. Historically, not all that long ago. The op-ed piece that Utah Bob posted got me thinking. I was born in 1957, "only" 16 years after that day. My dad, now fallen asleep in the Lord, got to tour the Med as a Sea Marine on the USS Brooklyn (CL-40), and then an all expense paid tour of some of the Pacific Islands. He never talked about it much. Through him, and the gentlemen at the VFW and American Legion posts he was active in, I met a Span Am war vet. So, one handshake back to the that. He likely knew Civil War vets, and they like as not knew some Rev. War vets, and if they didn't then their fathers did. So, only 4 or 5 handshakes between me and the founding of our Republic. Not a very long history.

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Know what you mean Joe. I was born in 1959. Guess we're "contemporaries".

 

JHC

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Auntie Emmy's uncle

 

Vernon Schmidt

 

is on the Arizona Memorial Wall.

 

Praise to those who gave - Prayers to those who gave their all

 

 

 

Coffee

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7 dec, my birthday, I waz a coupla years old when the shit hit the fan...

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