Yes, I know “But Lethal! It’s Christmas time!”. Yes I also know there are only 2 remaining issues of Leprechaun Laughs before the annual Holiday Issue and 17 shopping says remaining until Christmas. Still I am choosing to use one of those two issues for this. Perhaps that should tell you something right there regarding the level of importance I am placing on this event.
Whenever December 7th rolls around, I remember that it is Pearl Harbor Day. I stop for a second and send a prayer to the valor and bravery that was exhibited, and I also pray for those who lost so much on that terrible day. do this because it’s part of being an American, not because it’s part of my personal history. It happened long before I was born.
Whenever September 11th rolls around, I remember that it is the day that America was attack by Muslim Terrorists. I remember exactly where I was, what I was doing, and the effort required to try and wrap my head around all that I was hearing. The effort that was needed to not run around in fear. The silence of the skies devoid of all planes for several days. I stop now, and send a prayer to the valor and bravery that was exhibited, and I also pray for those who lost so much on that terrible day. It is the Pearl Harbor of my generation allowing me to relate to and empathize with those who lived the horror that was Pearl Harbor as well as their families and the rest of the nation.
Through assisting with the volunteer efforts of my wife and her Grandfather on behalf of the Nimitz Museum, more correctly known as The National Museum of the Pacific War I’ve come to know the stories of lots of people who can recall that terrible December day as though it were yesterday. For many it is as if that terrible day was just yesterday. For some life stopped on that day. For them, this unexpected attack is seared into their brains and they cannot, nor would they ever wish to forget. It is part of what has forged their identity…it’s part of what makes them an American. It’s part of the package of grit, determination, an unwillingness to give up their way of life or the demands that living free often requires. It is how they define the spine and courage of being an American. Times passes and the rawness covers over. Life moves on and the horror becomes history.
We must Remember, Observe and Commemorate these historical events, lest we ‘ere forget. To forget is for us to lose sight of an important part of what it is to be and what makes us Americans.
Tissues at the ready! That order includes you too tough guys.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt – Pearl Harbor Address
Japan’s December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and six other military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu precipitated America’s entry into World War II, a global conflict. Pearl Harbor endures as a symbol of American resilience and resolve, and the annual commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor fosters reflection, remembrance, and understanding.
There are roughly about 855,000 WWII Vets still alive of the once 16 million. Only 2000 to 2500 of the 60,000 original survivors are thought to still be alive. According to statistics released by the Veteran’s Administration, our World War II vets are dying at a rate of approximately 492 a day. These men and women deserve every opportunity to be remembered and honored. With out them you might well be speaking Japanese now.
The U.S. Navy battleship USS California is seen ablaze after an attack by Japanese carrier based strike aircraft on the Hawaiian port of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Reuters
National Geographic: Pearl Harbor Hero Returns Home After 75 Years in an Unknown Grave
After laying a memorial wreath, USS Oklahoma and Pearl Harbor survivor Sterling Cale bows his head in prayer.
American WWII Song — “Remember Pearl Harbor” (Don Reid’s Version)
The 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is an opportunity to honor the sacrifice and dedication of our “Greatest Generation” both civilian and military, the endured incredible sacrifices on December 7, 1941, the “date which will live in infamy.” It would thrust America into World War II, changing Hawaii and America forever and continues to define their place in the world. The events of that date triggered our resolve as a nation, our can-do attitude and resourcefulness and an unmatched commitment to the defense of freedom.
The Greatest Generation | Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary
The minesweeper Condor is on patrol less than two miles (3.2 kilometers) off the entrance to Pearl Harbor. The officer of the deck sees something “about fifty yards [45 meters] ahead off the port bow.” He asks a sailor what he makes of the object. “That’s a periscope, sir,” the sailor replies. “And there aren’t supposed to be any subs in the area.”
The Condor sends a blinker-light message to the destroyer Ward: “Sighted submerged submarine on westerly course, speed 9 knots.”
Already in flight, Comdr. Mitsuo Fuchida, who will lead the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor, sees the Japanese aircraft carriers rocking on a choppy sea. As the carriers pitch and roll, waves crash across on the flight decks. Crewmen cling to the aircraft to keep them from going over the side.
The carriers turn into the wind, and the first wave of planes—183 fighters, bombers, and torpedo planes—roar into the sky. Pilots reconfirm their navigation by using a Honolulu radio station’s music as a guiding beam.
The U.S. destroyer Ward, which had not been able to find the midget submarine reported by the minesweeper Condor, moves in for the kill. The Ward’s captain, Lt. William W. Outerbridge, has been in command for only two days. He orders men to commence firing. The first shot misses. The second strikes the submarine at the waterline.
The submarine heels over and appears “to slow and sink.” The Ward assures the sinking by dropping “a full pattern of depth charges.”
From the Ward to the 14th Naval Headquarters, at Pearl Harbor Naval Station: “We have dropped depth charges upon sub operating in defensive sea area.” Then, almost immediately, a second, more detailed message: “We have attacked, fired upon, and dropped depth charges upon submarine operating in defensive sea area.”
The Ward’s captain believes that the message will show superiors that the destroyer had not just responded to a submarine sighting but actually had “shot at something.”
The Army’s Opana Mobile Radar Station is one of six radar stations on Oahu. Radar is a new defense tool in Hawaii; the system has been in operation for less than a month.
One of the two privates on duty looks at the radar oscilloscope and can’t believe his eyes. He asks his buddy to take a look—and he confirms the sighting: 50 or more aircraft on a bearing for Oahu. The privates call the Fort Shafter information center, the hub of the radar network.
The Ward had sent out its message—that it had attacked an unidentified sub—in code. At headquarters, code clerks decode the message, then routinely put it in “paraphrase” so there will not be an exact paper copy that might aid an enemy code breaker.
The message gradually makes its way to the top: Adm. Husband E. Kimmel, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet. Because there had been so many “false reports of submarines” recently, Kimmel decides to “wait for verification of the report.”
An Army lieutenant who is in training at the radio-network operations center at Fort Shafter gets the Opana radar station report: “the biggest sightings” the radar operator had ever seen. By now the planes are about 70 miles (113 kilometers) away. The lieutenant believes that the radar had picked up a flight of U.S. B-17 Flying Fortress bombers heading from California to Hawaii. For security reasons, he cannot tell this to the radar operators. All he says is, “Well, don’t worry about it.”
U.S. code breakers, though stymied by Japanese naval codes, have cracked the Japanese diplomatic code. From a Tokyo-to-Washington message, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Gen. George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, learn that Japanese negotiators in Washington have been told to break off talks. Believing this may mean war, Marshall sends a warning to Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, commander of U.S. Army forces in Hawaii.
Because atmospheric static blacks out communications with Hawaii, Marshall’s message goes via commercial telegraph. (It will reach Short’s headquarters at 1145 hours. He will not see it until about 1500 hours.)
Planes of the first wave take off from the Japanese carriers—49 high-altitude bombers, 51 dive-bombers, 40 torpedo planes, 43 fighters. They fly through clouds, wondering if Pearl Harbor will be visible.
Then, as they near Oahu, the attack commander hears a Honolulu weather report: “clouds mostly over the mountains. Visibility good.” The clouds break. The fliers see “a long white line of coast”—Oahu’s Kakuku Point.
Air-attack commander Mitsuo Fuchida, looking down on Pearl Harbor, sees no aircraft carriers, which the Japanese hoped to destroy and thus thwart U.S. retaliation. He orders his telegraph operator to tap out to, to, to: attack. Then other taps: to ra, to ra, to ra: attack, surprise achieved.
Though not meant to have a double meaning, to ra is read by some Japanese pilots as tora—tiger. And according to a Japanese saying, “A tiger goes out 1,000 ri [2,000 miles/3,218 kilometers] and returns without fail.”
At the Command Center on Ford Island, Comdr. Logan C. Ramsey looks out a window to see a low-flying plane. A reckless U.S. pilot, he thinks. Then he sees “something black fall out of that plane” and realizes it’s a bomb.
Ramsey runs to a radio room and orders the telegraph operators to send out an uncoded message to every ship and base: AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NOT DRILL
The coordinated attack begins as dive-bombers strike the Army Air Forces’ Wheeler Field, north of Pearl Harbor, and Hickam Field, near Ford Island’s Battleship Row. The Japanese, wanting control of the air, hope to destroy American warplanes on the ground.
Most U.S. planes have been parked wingtip-to-wingtip in neat rows to make it easy to guard them against sabotage. Most are destroyed.
As part of a U.S. plan to bolster the Pacific forces, 12 B-17 Flying Fortresses have been ordered to the Philippines. The first stop is Oahu. Unaware that Japan is attacking Oahu, they prepare to land.
Because they are unarmed—to save weight—the B-17s can only dodge Japanese fighters and U.S. antiaircraft gunfire. Most manage to land intact-one touching down on a golf course.
An armor-piercing bomb, dropped by a high-altitude bomber, pierces the forward deck of the Arizona, setting off more than a million pounds (450,000 kilograms) of gunpowder, creating a huge fireball, and killing 1,177 men.
A sailor on the torpedoed battleship Nevada sees the Arizona “jump at least 15 or 20 feet [5 or 6 meters] upward in the water and sort of break in two.” In nine minutes the Arizona is on the bottom.
Through the flames and smoke, the destroyer Helm speeds to the open sea.
As the Helm leaves the channel, a lookout spots a Japanese sub snagged on a reef. The Helm “turned hard right toward enemy submarine,” shoots—and misses. The two-person sub breaks free and submerges. But it snags again. Trying to escape the foundering sub, one crewman drowns. The other is washed ashore—and becomes the United States’ first World War II prisoner of war.
As the destroyer Monaghan tries to “get out of that damn harbor as fast as possible,” a nearby U.S. ship signals that it has sighted a submarine. The Monaghan heads for the sub at top speed, hits it with gunfire, then rams it and drops depth charges. The charges are so close that when they explode, the blasts lift the Monaghan out of the water but do not damage her.
The sinking midget submarine has managed to fire a torpedo. But it does not hit anything.
The Nevada gets her steam up in 45 minutes and, with antiaircraft guns blazing, heads for the open sea. A sailor sees her U.S. flag flying in the smoke and thinks of the words of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Japanese planes of the second wave bomb her, hoping that by sinking her in the narrow channel she will bottle up the fleet. Rather than risk that, she deliberately grounds herself off Hospital Point.
The second wave—35 fighters, 78 dive-bombers, and 54 high-altitude bombers—meets heavy antiaircraft fire. Bombers attack the navy yard dry dock and hit the battleship Pennsylvania. Another bomber hits oil tanks between the destroyers Cassin and Downes. Onboard ammunition explodes, and the Cassin rolls off her blocks and into the Downes.
Bombs hit the light cruiser Raleigh, which had been torpedoed in the first wave. Crewmen jettison gear to keep her from capsizing.
A bomb blows off the bow of the destroyer Shaw; pieces of the ship rain down half a mile (.8 kilometer) away. A photo of the spectacular explosion becomes one of the best known images of December 7, 1941. Repair workers are on the job immediately. The Shaw eventually gets a new bow and is back in action by July 1942.
Except for the Arizona, Utah, and Oklahoma, every ship sunk or damaged on December 7 will sail again.
Japanese fighters do not have homing devices or radar. They rendezvous with bombers off Oahu and follow them back to the carriers.
Of the 29 Japanese planes lost, antiaircraft guns probably shot down 15.
Exultant Japanese pilots urge a third strike. If the gasoline tanks at Pearl Harbor are hit, they reason, the Pacific Fleet will be out of action for weeks. But superiors, saying the attack has been successful, rule out a third strike. One reason: the whereabouts of the U.S. carriers is still unknown.
From the ships and airfields come the wounded—some horribly burned, others riddled by bullets and shrapnel. At some hospitals casualties are laid out on lawns. Medics convert barracks, dining halls, and schools into temporary hospitals.
For many severely wounded and dying men, all nurses can do is give them morphine. They then put a lipstick M on their foreheads to indicate the painkilling drug. Trucks become ambulances and hearses. The death toll eventually reaches 2,390.
The Pearl Harbor strike force turns for home.
In the 44 months of war that will follow, the U.S. Navy will sink every one of the Japanese aircraft carriers, battleships, and cruisers in this strike force. And when Japan signs the surrender document on September 2, 1945, among the U.S. warships in Tokyo Bay will be a victim of the attack, the U.S.S. West Virginia.
A heavily guarded black limousine pulled up to the south entrance of the U.S. Capitol. President Franklin D. Roosevelt got out of the car and entered the Capitol, assisted by his son Captain James Roosevelt, who wore the uniform of the U.S. Marines. The chamber of the House of Representatives was jammed with members of both houses of Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, official guests, and onlookers in the galleries.
The President, still on his son’s arm, entered the Chamber of the House, was introduced briefly by Speaker Sam Rayburn, and received a thunderous ovation. For the past nine years, Republicans had shown little enthusiasm toward the President when he addressed a Joint Session of Congress. This time, the Republicans joined in, signifying the nation’s sudden unity.
Solemnly, he began his speech requesting a declaration of war: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”
The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution declaring war on Japan. At 1:10 p.m. the House voted for war, 388 to 1. The single dissenting vote was cast by Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, who had also voted against a declaration of war in 1917.
A Battle Cry That Will Never Be Forgotten | Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary
“Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” – Fleet Admiral Nimitz
75 Years Later: Pearl Harbor Survivor Richard Schimmel’s Story
World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument
There is a reason the USS Arizona Memorial is the number one visitor destination in Hawaii. Millions of people from all over the world come to this majestic setting to see for themselves where World War II began for the United States on December 7, 1941.
Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 3,000 miles from the West Coast of America and 4,000 miles from Japan, Pearl Harbor serves as a central gathering place for the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which consists of 9 historic locations in 3 of the westernmost United States – California, Alaska, and Hawaii. Of these, five are located within Pearl Harbor itself: the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Oklahoma Memorial, the USS Utah Memorial, and parts of Ford Island and Battleship Row.
The USS Arizona Memorial is a must-see destination for all individuals coming to Hawaii, drawing more than 1.8 million visitors each year from all over the world. The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center receives an average of 4,500 visitors per day and 1.5 million visitors annually
Pearl Harbor Survivor Recalls Attack of USS Oklahoma
Museum launches ‘Real-time’ Twitter Experience for Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor | Reliving The Past, In The Present
A ‘real-time’ Twitter Experience
In 1941, on the most infamous day in the modern era, news of a shocking event that altered the course of human history took the span of several hours (even days) to spread through the civilized world.
But,.. what if our present 24-hour news technology had existed then? What if people (military personnel and civilians) could use the power of social media to record and report the humanity, horrors, and heroes of Pearl Harbor as suddenly as they happened?
December 7, 2016, marks the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack upon the United States by Imperial Japan. To commemorate, The National Museum of the Pacific War teams with Project C to create and curate a ‘real-time’ Twitter experience. It’s built exclusively with rare and authentic artifacts, photographs, and eyewitness testimonials hand-picked from the museum’s on-site archives for this interactive experience.
The occurrences of that fateful Sunday morning are respectfully recounted in meticulous detail and with historical, chronological accuracy. Feel this content-rich narrative takes on a unique shape by posts from varied points-of-view – composed by both Japanese and American participants, plus by local Hawaiian residents and tourists.
Simultaneously, an abridged version of this social activation runs on the National Museum’s official Facebook’s page .
By leveraging Twitter Moments, users can possibly take a ‘deeper dive’ into specific content and explore true tales such as the sinking and capture of a mini-sub and its pilot of the coast of Honolulu. Best of all, audiences can visit the museum and see this actual submarine (and much, much more) in person.
Follow the museum on Twitter by searching @nimitzmuseum. And, Like us on Facebook @nationalmuseumofthepacificwar.
Pearl Harbor – Dec. 7, 1941 – The only color film of the attack
Do not drape The Flag upon my coffin.
Do not grieve for my death.
Celebrate the life I have lived
Wish me wondrous things.
I have seen many go before me
To pave the way to the to road Glory.
I will not lie, I wish they still here.
Yet I know in my Heart I will see them again.
It is Faith that keeps us going
Without it we are lost.
A tiny Prayer is all it takes
Please do not drape The Flag on my face.
I know what I have done
I sing the Songs that no one knows.
Please do not cover my face
Let me see you as I meet my Grace.
The First Twelve Minutes | Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary
Iconic photo of the Mahan-class destroyer USS Shaw (DD-373) in dry dock at Pearl Harbor her forward magazine having taken a direct hit causes her bow to be blown off.
Never Forget Pearl Harbor | Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary
Picking Up the Pieces | Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary
A Pearl Harbor Prayer
This prayer is in memory of those who lost their lives on Sunday, December 7, 1941, as well as the remaining survivors. I am especially honored to pastor a man named Harold Saly who is a Pearl Harbor survivor. God bless you, Harold.
O God of our Fathers,
We guard in our hearts today the sacred memory of those who gave their lives on that day which will live in infamy. Bless us, O Lord, as we humble ourselves in Thy presence to remember our shipmates and friends who served our country so valiantly.
Let us not disgrace those who still lie in the quiet places through our indifference or forgetfulness. Rather, help us to always remember Pearl Harbor and help us to keep America alert. May we never forget that more than 2,000 of our sons, fathers, brothers, and friends were killed and more than 1,000 citizens of our land were wounded on December 7, 1941. Their sacrifices were not in vain. They defended America’s freedom and demonstrated America’s goodness.
Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the brave men who embodied your love by making this ultimate sacrifice. You have declared “greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). May we be willing to follow their example when duty calls.
We also give thanks for those who survived the attack on our country and who went on with their lives in a way that portrayed honor to a watching world. They carried on with life even as they bore deep within them the haunting memories of what they witnessed, heard, and felt. Bless them with continued grace and mercy from your holy hand.
Guide us and direct us in all that we do. Let us live to bring glory and honor to Thee.
This we pray in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,