A day that will live in infamy

gandle(4 NE)December 7, 2011

70 years ago today Pearl Harbor was attacked witht a loss of 20 warships and over 300 airplanes and many 1000's of lives. There couldn't be a great many of the survivors of that attack left, if they are they would be in the high 80's.

Our lives were certainly changed then, including mine.

Wonder just how many W.W.2 vets are still around, there were I believe somewhere 15,000,000 of us at one time.

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Neil is still hanging in, George.
He will be 86 in February.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 1:17PM
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George, we thank you and Neil, and all the others who are stil with us, for your service.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 6:14PM
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Have we discussed the Honor Flights here yet?

Donations fund a round trip ticket and everything a veteran would need to see the WWII monuments in DC - its a very big deal, and a wonderful event for WWII soldiers.

They try to get several from a general area to justify the flight costs, but every one that I know that has returned came home with a profound sense of gratitude, and knowing they were so very much appreciated.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 9:00PM
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After all those years taking sides is really not solving any puzzles, Germany, an ally of Japan, was doing badly because they already lost the war when they invaded Russia, and the Japanese attack on the US definitely was the coup de gras for Hitler's dream, what was the motivation?
As for the American Forces, what I find most fascinating are the Navajo Code Talkers, little publicized or recognized until recently and what an awesome job they did.
Another impressive force were the Nisei, second generation Japanese Americans, who served with distinction in the European Theater of war, though many of their parent were in camps - so many stories, a rich tapestry beyond the "us vs them"

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 12:33AM
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Lilo, I don't think of you in any poor light, nor hold you to anything because of your family. You're no "them" to me. Your family isn't even a "them" to me. (((Lilo))) Not that my opinion matters. I hold you dearly. Even if you still lived in Germany :)

I found out yesterday, they're already rewriting history in America. The LF and I were out at some restaurant having a cold drink. The ketchup bottle on the table had a quote that was tribute to Veterans (yea! Veterans!!! I love you all. Thank you for my life and my freedoms!) on it. I explained that they were likely left over from Veterans Day. When I told him that that was why they were on the tables, he said, "You do know what day this is don't you?". He thought they were in honor of Pearl Harbor Day. Having lived in Hawaii,and grown up miliary, even I am affected by it as young as I am, so I said, "Of course I do! Pearl Harbor Day!" I asked him if he knew about the Interment Camps and he said no,but they had talked about PHD in school yesterday. He was off on some tangent about his shock over all that mattered to the textbooks--"American loss of life. What about the others?!"

He hadn't heard of camps? What?! So I stopped the server, also young, and asked him if he knew. He was from California, so I was sure he knew (there were so much activity that surrounded the camps there!). He hadn't heard. Of course I told them both about the atrocities commited by Americans to Americans. Later, the LF wanted to talk more about how the Japanese are still dealing with the fallout from the bombs.

It's so awful. All of the losses, from Germans to Russians to Japanese to Americans and all the Europeans who died. So much loss.

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." -George Santayana

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 8:53AM
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Remembering the fallen I don't see as taking sides. These days are days of thanking for sacrifice, and are not about sides or victory. The Japanese have a shrine to their fallen dead as well and their culture is very much about giving respect to their ancestors. The former prime minister of Japan (Koizumu, Jonichiro) was lambasted royally by some of his own people for paying homage to his country's fallen at the Yakasuni Shrine in Tokyo. They interpret is as trying to resurrect an empire. Is it?

I'm old enough to have dealt with the aftermath of the deaths of family members. My uncle was mown down at St. Lo and in fact just yesterday, going through some of the things my father saved through the years, I found a card and photograph of him I'd never seen before. My g'parents, uncles and aunts carried that burden around with them a lifetime. My step grandson was blown to smitherines by a car bomb in Afghanistan. He was in his twenties and left behind a widow and two little children. I should not always remember his sacrifice?

I think our biggest mistake is NOT remembering the cost of war. We should pound it into our children's heads the reality of it and the absolute truth about it, without embelishment or shame. It is what it is and it's not pretty. It's sometimes justified, but it's important to know the ends have to justify the means, and the costs to any country are far more dear in human suffering than in dollars. That doesn't in any way demean the gifts of those who left their homes (whether voluntarily or by mandate) regardless of which 'side' they were on. What most of these soldiers were fighting were not people but ideologies abused by a small faction. Sadly, the world hasn't changed much in that respect. And mostly the answer lies within changing the conditions in one's own country so that there would be no persecution, hunger, or abuse of power for personal glory or gain.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2011 at 11:21AM
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Thank you Gandle for this thread. My dad served during WW2 in India as a railroad fireman.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 12:08PM
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homegrown54(z6 SE Ohio)

I made a point of asking my mother about her experience her in SE Ohio on that day. Sun was shining brightly, news came on the radio. She was nine years old. She remembered the reactions of each of her parents. I agree it is wrong to harbor resentment ... seems like aggression and bloodletting become moot about 25 years or so after the acts and all is forgiven. The dead are still dead. Their families still grieve, and the thought they clung to that is was for a good cause fades. What cannot be forgiven, in each and every instance, no matter what government commits it, is the loss of blood and treasure in the name of something that, later, doesn't seem to matter. We used to call it "cannon fodder." What cannot be understood is the willingness of people to give up, time after time, their children to feed the "causes" cloaked in patriotism, which seems, as my advanced age, to be a cloak for greed. I'll never understand it. What the WWII vets, those still living, can hold onto, including my dear stepdad is... it was worth fighting. It was real. Maybe I'm smoking the wrong thing, but, can we EVER LEARN FROM HISTORY? Bless every good soldier's heart.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2011 at 3:38PM
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