Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day of Infamy

It's a Sunday morning.

Maybe the morning after the night before.

You were planning on sleeping in, especially after enjoying the late night sights and sounds of Hawaii.

Being attacked at 7:55 a.m., while you were sleeping, is not something you signed up for when you joined the Navy. Suddenly, as you wake up to the sounds of horrific explosions, murderous gunfire and panicked screams, you learn in a flash what it means to be "Pearl Harbored".

69 years ago today, when you were part of the crew of the USS Arizona, there was nothing in your field manual or training exercises that prepared you for this.

The Japanese Imperial Navy called it "Operation Z".

FDR described December 7, 1941 as "a date which will live in infamy".

America entered World War Two the very next day.

As for the USS Arizona, it became the final resting place for many of the ship's 1,177 crewmen. She was the most heavily damaged of all the vessels along Battleship Row, but contrary to popular belief, the USS Arizona is no longer in commission. As a special tribute to the ship and her lost crew, the Stars and Stripes still flies from a flagpole attached to the sunken battleship.

"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...As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense...With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounded determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God"

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1 comment:

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