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Saturday, December 06, 2014

LOOKING BACK: "A DATE WHICH WILL LIVE IN INFAMY"

                               This column originally posted on December 7, 2011

                                  (The New Pearl Harbor Museum Opened on 12-7-2010)

On December 8, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt addressed Congress: "Yesterday, December 7, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the empire of Japan."

With that statement describing the attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, this nation was thrust into World War II. The first wave of Japanese aircraft attacked at 7:53 a.m. and by the end of the second wave at 9:45 a.m., the U.S. had suffered casualties of 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians, while 1,178 were wounded.



Of the dead, 1,177 were men stationed on the USS Arizona, which was destroyed when a bomb hit the forward magazine, starting a series of explosions. Eight Arizona residents were listed among the dead on the battleship, which was moored near Ford Island on that dreadful morning 65 years ago.

Today the remains of the Arizona still lie in the same shallow water where she sat helpless during the attack. In 1962, the ship was declared a national shrine and a memorial was built across her remains. A room within the shrine lists the names of the dead crew members, and regular memorial services are performed to respect their memory. A new U.S. flag is raised each day above the site, and at the end of the day is folded and given to various dignitaries.

Time has taken its toll on the memorial and in September, 2005, Governor Janet Napolitano toured the site and pledged Arizona’s help in raising $34 million to build a new visitors’s center. ("Napolitano to help raise $34 million for USS Arizona," The Arizona Republic, Oct. 20, 2005).

"It’s Arizona’s battleship," she said in the article. "When it was commissioned (1916), they broke not just a bottle of champagne over its bow, but a bottle of water that had just come from the newly created Roosevelt Dam. We’ve always had a close connection with the USS Arizona."

Napolitano also declared 2006 as the "Year of the USS Arizona Memorial."

Many of the dead from the Arizona are still entombed within its hulk. Oil still seeps from the wreckage after 65 years and is sometimes referred to as "the tears of the Arizona." Each year the number of survivors decreases and many of them have made arrangements to be cremated with their ashes placed by their fallen shipmates at the site. Many of these men believe that the oil will continue to leak until the last survivor dies.

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13 comments:

Glo the PROUD said...

I can't help wondering how many of those protesters that interrupted the Friday Art Walk will remember or even care about December 7th? Lots, I'll bet [insert extreme sarcasm here].

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks for the reminder of why we should always thank our veterans who have served to protect us.

I also liked those Moon hubcaps on your 61 Chevy. I had a set as well.

Ron

Jim McAllister said...

Glo,

What disruption was there at an art walk? Was it over Ferguson or NY?

Glo said...

Hi Jim. It was over NY mainly but in general about the abysmal way black people are treated. Don't get me started ...

AHiredGun said...

Jim: You probably already know this, but The Republic has a wonderful, in-depth story on the Arizona and its 9 current survivors. FYI - according to the article I mentioned, the bottle of water failed to break at the Arizona's christening. So much for the Prohibitionists - lol.

midnightsstaff said...

For only the second time in the past two years I have raised the flag up in front of my house out of respect for those who paid a very high price for something today some consider trivial and apparently willing to squander.

I now reflect on the moment in history not in honor of the day but for the memory of the men who willingly placed themselves in harm's way.
Some joined perhaps only to escape the raging Depression yet ultimately found themselves singled out one Sunday morning as fate will do, being required to sacrifice their own lives for a greater cause.

I suppose all holidays tend to suffer the same gradual fading from national memory, but today the more important ones seem to suffer the ultimate indignity of national disrespect.

..So far at least Toyota is not advertising Pearl Harbor blowouts on all it's truck's today.

I see a distinct sea change in the complexion of society today, it's been fundamentally changed through a long term coordinated agenda designed to undermine our culture; we have witnessed a decades long pogram of an orchestrated agenda leading to the government school's fundamental goal to deny kids the basic tools they need to reason out life's choices through critical thinking.

We have been gradually led to a false acceptance that years ago demanded schools remove God's influence from our lives and worse of all to begin planting the coordinated seeds of multiculturalism and misplaced tolerance that has lead to what we see today.

Our public schools have delivered the overriding poison pill that has destroyed every society that has swallowed it with a sense of unwarranted entitlement, an illogical validation of materialism, Gaia/Pantheism, collectivism, and the rejection of ultimate personal responsibility- all soul killers.

Yes, I will fly the flag on certain holidays I suppose, but until we address a fundamental problem that has lead us into the swamp we now live in little will change other than the increasing depth of the mire from the coming rain.

..at least it's good to see Rick back from his hiatus all tanned rested and ready to serve- for years it's obvious he was the swizzle stick of this blog, much like Reggie Jackson referred to himself as to his place in the Yankees between his turns at the plate.

It's a day of reflection for serious people as most important holidays like Martin Luther King day was originally, the tragedy is who is there left to reflect?
So what does it profit man if in the process of gaining the world he loses his soul?, well there's the original problem as I see it.

Jim McAllister said...

Glo,

I know what you mean; it's a subject that can the blood boiling in a hurry.

Jim McAllister said...

Joe,

I saw that story. Very interesting. I can only imagine what those guys went through that horrible day. I almost feel like I cheated by serving in peacetime in a place like Missouri.

Jim McAllister said...

Middy,

Thanks for a great comment.

I remember in grade school (1945-1952) that we had a painting in every classroom of George Washington amid the clouds. We also used to recite the pledge of allegiance and have a school Christmas parties with trees in the classrooms and a gift exchange. Try to find that today in Obama's America.

I see where Landrieu got trounced yesterday to put another exclamation mark on Obama's government. The Dems have been totally removed from the South. It's a wonderful thing.

If you don't do Twitter, you should. It's 99% us.

Jim McAllister said...

Ron,

That '61 Chevy was a great car. It had that small V8 than ran really smooth. I paid $1,400 for it in '64 and drove it until 1969 when I traded it on a '70 Chevy Nova.

I wanted Barb to have a nice new economical car to drive to her teaching. It cost $2,700 but and was a stick shift. We couldn't afford the $150 for automatic at that time! LOL

Jim McAllister said...

Why am I not surprised about this? How quick they forget or never knew the importance of that place.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/07/mismanagement-allegations-at-pearl-harbor-memorial/

duxoup said...

Having visited the Arizona memorial I can predict how any American feels when there: Touched, saddened and proud as hell!
Larry Rupp

Jim McAllister said...

Thanks, Larry. God bless those guys.