This has been a week of remembrance indeed. Firstly, former President George H. W. Bush was laid to rest after his passing last Friday. Then, today, we mark the seventieth seventh anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The events that took place day changed everything for this country, for the world and for the former President who eventually flew TBM Avengers in the Pacific. It is important that we remember and honor these people and days as we continue forward in life.
Every year I talk about this day because it is one that must be remembered. Seventy Six years ago Pearl Harbor was attacked and in those few hours the fate for many was decided. It set this country on a course that could not be altered and for four years we fought for freedom. Today is a special day to honor and remember what happened on December 7th.
Of all the historic events from WWII this certainly is one that must people recall. The photographs from that day are erie to look at now especially if you’ve ever visited the islands and seen what it’s like today. A few years back I had that opportunity and it felt even erie’r.
The rusted mast of one of the USS Arizona’s stacks is all that can be seen above water. It’s a far cry different then the image seen of the ship taken on that fateful day. Under the water surface still lies the remains of the crew submerged inside the ship, another reminder of what’s not to be forgotten. Hopefully this post isn’t to depressing but it’s important to cherish what we have in this world as it came at a price.
75 years ago today marked the beginning of four years of turmoil for the United States. While the rest of the world had already gone to war the US had stayed as neutral as it could be without declaring war. On December 7th 1941 the US Navy was attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese government. The next day Roosevelt asked congress to declare war on Japan and shortly after Germany. This launched us into World War II and for many December 7th is day that will never be forgotten. Nor should it be.
The events of Pearl Harbor have been studied for seventy five years and new pieces of information are still being discovered. What happened there has for some become an obsession. It wasn’t just a military operation but a political statement that is as analyzed as any other major event. For those that haven’t studied the attack, it can be summed up much more easily, the day we went to war. The Japanese Zero, as seen above, for a long time was hated but now is treasured as a rare piece of history. The Zero being the primary plane launched from Japanese Carriers to bomb Pearl.
Among the Zero’s many adversaries, the P-40 Warhawk was an early contender at Pearl and in the Aleutian Islands. The later contender the FG-1D Corsair fought in many battles over the Solomon Islands, up and done the slot. Today all three can be seen together flying around the country.
But one can never forget what happened that day and the many lives that were lost. While little remains of the Battleships and buildings that once covered Ford Island, Barabara’s Point, Hickam Field and Pearl Harbor, the stories have lived on. If you’ve ever met a Pearl Harbor survivor then you’ve met someone who has lived through something that no one else can understand. Take a moment day and say thanks, for it would be a very different world today if not for the events that happened on December 7th.
Ever year this anniversary seems to arrive faster each time. Perhaps as you get older time naturally seems to go by faster and thus is nothing more then coincidence or perhaps as the years have gone by and I’ve learned more about what this date meant to this country and others I have come to honor and respect its significance. For those that don’t know, today marks the 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a day that Roosevelt would later remark as a day that lives in infamy. For many it was the day that ignited a flame in Americans, a flame that was carried overseas and into the second World War for the United States.
The attack was a combination of Zero’s, Kate Divebombers and Val Divembombers spread out in multiple groups in two different waves. Their targets were a combination of the battleships that were docked at Pearl along with the air bases spread across the island. The US carriers were the primary focus but were not docked at the time of the attack. Other structures along the navy base were prioritized as well. This one event created a ripple that caused so many other events to occur. Having spent time with many veterans who were shocked into action after that day, I can say that none of them were either expecting it or wanting it to happen. Many lives were lost that day and those to come.
Five years ago I never knew the importance of this day. I knew what what happened but never let it sink in. Every year since then I have written a post on December 7th talking about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Early in the predawn light swarms of Japanese Zeroes and torpedo bombers flew over Honolulu to deliver a tremendous blow to the United States. Mistaken as a group of B-17’s by radar the Japanese planes went untouched as they made their surprise attack. A flew P-40’s were able to get off the ground and engage the enemy during the raid but the damage was done and 5 battleships and thousands of men were dead and wounded. This was the opening to the greatest conflict the United States would ever be apart of.
Having talked with veterans and heard their stories, when approached about the subject of the Pearl Harbor raid, each of them had a note of sadness in their voice. Even though most were not there in person, they all heard about the raid and knew what it meant for the country. Many of them agreed that there was anger initially, after time it went away to feelings of remorse. Today we celebrate these brave men for what they did after the attack, like the Doolittle Raiders, who made a surprise raid in 16 B-25’s launched from the carrier Hornet against Tokyo. Today is a day we remember not only for those that we lost but for what it meant during the years that followed Pearl Harbor.
Today is a very important day in history. 72 years ago we were attacked by Japanese aircraft at Pearl Harbor. The mission was to destroy our battleships and carriers stationed at Honolulu. Several ships were hit, four battleships sunk, the most famous being the USS Arizona. What’s left of her is seen here. The day went down as the day of infamy but sparked this nation into an action so great that it has never been seen since. From neutral to at war over night, we pledged to bring an end to the devastation of the time. As such we officially declared war on Japan and were thus thrust into the bloodiest conflict ever seen, WWII. Let us remember the men that died that day and how it forever changed this country as well as others.
71 years ago today marks the anniversary of the “day that lives in infamy” when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and ultimately united the people of this country into the involvement of the second War to End all Wars. On this day thousands of men were killed and many more wounded by the surprise attack. Back in 2011 I had the opportunity of visiting the sites on Ford Island, Barbers Point, Hickam Field and of course the Arizona Memorial. There is an presence about the place whilst standing over he sunken ship that cannot be described.
Let us remember today what happened over seven decades ago, what the people of this country lost and what we as a nation have achieved in the years to follow. Our appreciation goes out to all those that helped to end that conflict.
Seventy years ago an attack was made that unified this country like nothing that had ever been seen or has it since. Most of us don’t know what that was like, others will never forget. Last March I was fortunate to go to Pearl Harbor and see the Arizona Memorial. It was hard to picture what it was like without the busy city behind it. Despite the noise of the cars and planes flying around, the place was eerily quiet.
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December 7th, 1941 was the day that a Japanese carrier force launched a surprise attack on the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. While demonstrating the power of Naval Airplanes it lead way to the end of the might of battleships. It was the day that ratified the people of this country to join in one of the bloodiest and most costly wars we had ever seen. They fought at home and on foreign fronts for our safety, our rights as individuals, and our freedom. May people remember what happened that day December 7th, 1941, the lives that were lost and the families hurt. May we never forget what happened in that War so history doesn’t repeat itself.
Images Captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film
It’s spring break again, that lovely time of the year when the college flock to the beaches to escape the mundane world of homework, tests, and teachers. Even though I’m not i college at the moment but merely on my year off, i likewise did the same. This past Sunday the folks and myself headed down to Hawaii for another exciting adventure in DLWS history. That is of course this next week, this week we are spending our time enjoying some sight seeing and learning more about our nations history. What better place to start then with Pearl Harbor. I had never been here before, nor did i know the much about the place. Before coming here i had only known a little bit about the memorial and a fair amount of Pearl Harbor. This is of course actual knowledge not just from movies like “Pearl Harbor” and “Tora Tora Tora.”
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After spending a little time at the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island, we went over to the lineup area for the boat ride over to the Arizona Memorial. What got me about the whole harbor was how small it seemed and yet how filled it was with stuff. There wasn’t many Navy ships left at anchor but the whole place still felt filled. It was hard wrapping my head around what it must have been like back then without the bridge, the multitude of homes, and everything being on fire. Looking up the American flag was quite visible through the marble openings. Looking towards the stern the third gun turret was the only part of the ship still above the water. Even that wasn’t complete. The top section was cut away, unknown where it ended up only rumors now. The ship rests on the bottom of the harbor seventeen feet below that point. There’s an odd feeling there of sadness and bewilderment. I guess it’s one of those things that is just hard to truly understand in todays world, symbolic as it is, there’s just no way to truly know what it felt like to be there.
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Images captured with Nikon D3, AF-S 24-70 f2.8, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film