She is still there, in the same place she was on a balmy Sunday morning back in 1941. The daily routine was underway, sailors were doing the things sailors do on a quiet Sunday morning in port.
All that changed forever when aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy slid into their attack profiles. Bombs fell, torpedoes entered the water, strafing runs commenced. Americans began to die.
When it was over, a heavy pall lay over this most beautiful of islands. Death and destruction were left in the wake of the departing Japanese.
USS Arizona lay shattered on the harbor floor, most of her crew still on board. Dead on her bridge were her captain, Franklin Van Valkenburgh and the Commander of Battleship Division One, Isaac Campbell Kidd. Both of whom were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions that day.
Also awarded the Medal of Honor was Arizona’s Damage Control Officer Samuel Glenn Fuqua, who survived the war and eventually retired as a Rear Admiral (Lower Half).
But she is still there, as is her admiral, her captain and her crew. Spare a thought this day for them. For the USS Arizona and the 1,102 men who still lie entombed within her. Spare a thought for all those who lost their lives that day in defense of freedom.
December 7th, 1941. Indeed a date which will live in infamy. But back then we Americans knew how to shoulder the load. We knew how to fight back with pride and with honor. We stood together in those days.
Nowadays, not so much. I pray that we are not living in a time which will live in infamy. But I think we are.
6 responses to “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”
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I pray that we are not living in a time which will live in infamy. But I think we are.
Not to add fuel to your fire, but I saw a chart the other day that showed nine percent of our population was in uniform at the height of WWII; today it’s approximately ONE percent. Total.
The current conflict is no less an existential threat than that posed by Imperial Japan and the other Axis powers. Why do we not respond accordingly? <=== rhetorical question, no answer required.
Back on-topic… our generation remembers and will never forget. Period, full stop.
Buck – some of that figure – WW2 had – I think 12 million people in uniform – we’ll never see again (well never is a strong word but lets say it is unlikely> – for a couple of reasons, not the least technology.
We would never have 30 million people (~9%) in uniform.
OTOH the mindset of so many these days seems to bury their heads in the sand – witness the Obama Administration insisting the Benghazi attack was a “mob”. The mindset is reverting to the pre Pearl Harbor days.
Pearl Harbor really was a galvanizing event – few remember it but prior to that day – the country was again polarized – 50-50 – on intervention in the war – and staying isolationist.
In one attack that changed.
My own memory, having been born after – is seeing the Arizona in that clear blue water – with the oil bubbles….still coming up.
When I was in the Navy, everytime we pulled into Pearl, I made a point of visiting the memorial. Standing there, looking down into the water where Sailor’s tears still rise from the shattered bunker fuel tanks, reading the names on the wall. You can literally feel the weight of history.
And the responsibility.
It’s somewhat surprising that the Eco-fascists haven’t sued to remove the wreck due to the pollution. Or maybe they have and I missed the fun.
Our world, and our country, have certainly changed.