Friday, December 7, 2007

A Day That Will Live in Infamy

God Bless our Veterans of WWII (and every other veteran out there). Today is the 66th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombing. I wasn't taught a lot about this day throughout school. I learned more on my own through books and the history channel. It's a shame that kids aren't taught more about this important turning point in the United State's history.

Did you know we only had the 18th largest military at that point? (According to the radio this morning - where they were reading from the LA Times.) We sure aren't 18th now.

This photo was taken by a Navy photography as the USS Shaw was exploding. Dec. 7, 1941.

The surprise was complete. The attacking planes came in two waves; the first at 7:55 AM, the second at 8:55. Along with the ships in Pearl Harbor, the air stations at Hickam, Wheeler, Ford Island, Kaneohe and Ewa Field were attacked. For two hours and twenty minutes, Japanese aircraft bombed and strafed these military targets. By 9:55 it was all over. By 1:00 PM the carriers that launched the planes from 274 miles off the coast of Oahu were heading back to Japan.

Behind them they left chaos: 2,335 dead servicemen, 1,178 wounded, 640 unaccounted for, 48 civilians killed. 188 planes had been destroyed and 18 ships of different sizes had been sunk or damaged, including 8 damaged or destroyed battleships. Only 29 Japanese aircraft were shot down by American return fire, most during the attack of the second wave. In one stroke the Japanese action silenced the debate that had divided Americans ever since the German defeat of France left England alone in the fight against the Nazi terror.

My mind reels at the horror of what the Japanese accomplished that day. I

I thank God for all those who died, who fought, who lived, and who served. Then and now.

Great quotes compiled at Remembering Pearl Harbor site, which should be remembered today!

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.
Thomas Jefferson

To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
George Washington

Neutrality, as a lasting principle, is an evidence of weakness.

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