Remember Pearl Harbor — 73 years ago

Remember Pearl Harbor — 73 years ago

Pearl-HarborMost of us remember where we were on 9/11. Older baby boomers remember where they were when JFK was shot.

The Greatest Generation, now almost all passed into eternity, remembers where they were on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor. Some of the survivors met earlier today at Pearl to remember their 2,400 comrades who fell that day.

For my late parents, who hailed from Detroit, my father remembered he was training with the U.S. Army in Louisiana and an officer announced it to the men. Pop had been drafted a couple months earlier, in March, and liked to say, “I joined for a year and got out five years later.” In those days, if you were in the military, you were in for the duration of the war.

Mom, certified a registered nurse a few months earlier, was driving somewhere with some friends and the news came on the car radio.

The war lasted almost four long years. It ended with the defeat of Hitler and the Japanese military dictatorship. Unfortunately, Stalin was left in control of the Soviet Union, most of Eastern Europe and most of China. A new book recounts how Stalin started the war with Hitler, “The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941.”

Marilyn Monroe factoryCalifornia

California played a crucial part in the war, not only as an embarkation point for the Pacific, a center for Navy bases, a farm cornucopia producing food for the GIs and a source of manpower. By 1941 California had become a manufacturing powerhouse, especially in the infant aviation industry. That’s where the young Marilyn Monroe (pictured at right) worked before she got her break in pictures.

And of course, Hollywood joined the war effort big time. The great John Ford co-directed “December 7th,” still worth watching. It’s free online. Of course, it’s propaganda, but even that’s instructive to see how the government wanted people to think. Ford was an officer in the Navy Reserve at the time. He was badly wounded a couple months later leading film intelligence crews at the Battle of Midway.

If you want to get a feel for how America was during the war, skip the horrible 2001 movie “Pearl Harbor.” Instead, check out “From Here to Eternity,” which centers around an Army unit just before and during the attack. The book it’s based on, by James Jones and his personal experiences, is even better.

Another of my favorites is Ford’s 1945 movie, “They Were Expendable,” about a P.T. boat crew in the Philippines during and after Pearl Harbor. Movies like that show the old-fashioned patriotism that animated America to victory.

So here’s a snappy salute to every World War II veteran, and Rosie the Riveter too.

27 comments

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  1. Timberrrrrr......
    Timberrrrrr...... 7 December, 2014, 13:06

    IMO the last justified war America participated in was WW2. The original concept of going into Afghanistan and eliminating the culprits behind 911 was fine. But now we see how that mission was exploited and turned into another nation building exercise who’s primary purpose is world economic dominance and sustaining the war economy. Sorry. That’s just wrong. As an American I resent that we are always the lead dog in all these conflicts and that our young boys spill their blood. 5000 or more of them died in Iraq. And for what? We know now the invasion was based on hyperbole and fabricated manipulations via propoganda to rile up the American population. The terrorists are now taking over Iraq. When Saddam was in charge Iraq was ISIS, ISIL and Al-Queda clean. Now look what we’ve turned it into. A massive civil war and a terrorist bloodbath. In total well over 500,000 innocent civilians have died. Is that any less horrific than Pearl Harbor or Hitler’s nation building activities? Please be honest. Is conducting airstrikes in Syria without any international legal authority and only based upon the order of an apparent American King something to be proud of? What about Libya? Was arming rebel terrorists to overthrow a sovereign government which ended in the assassination of their sitting leader – and pummeling that nation with billions of dollars worth of US missiles an honorable act? There was no imminent threat. It was a violation of the War Powers Act of 1973. The same thing Obama accused Bush of doing when he invaded Iraq. I love my country. That’s the reason I am so concerned about our recent military actions internationally. Back in my younger years America was not only the economic and military leader on the planet. Most importantly we were the MORAL leader. Not anymore. We have lost our way. We have lost all our moral authority. And that is so sad. And I don’t see any effort to restore that coveted and sacred virtue. So sad.

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  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 7 December, 2014, 14:47

    My dad First Class Machinist Mate was on Battleship New Jersey. Battle of Midway, Leyte Gulf, Okinawa, etc.

    His son Naval Officer Cuban Crisis, Early Vietnam.

    My Uncle MP in Berlin just after WW2, the most dangerous job in Europe.

    Another Uncle medic living in a tent for three years in Burma patching up Aussie, Turk, Korean, Army patrols jungle fighting in indescribable conditions.

    My best friend Marine pilot shot down in Vietnam, rescued miraculously at sea.

    Bible study buddy WW2 B-29 pilot shot down on sixth mission over Germany. POW in Stalag 17 for 2.5 years.

    We Were There For You!

    Reply this comment
  3. desmond
    desmond 7 December, 2014, 19:52

    Did anyone read the President’s auto biography? That book has lasting effects on me. The president sees the world war 2 as America using it for its selfish interest, think white people. I felt he , after reading his words, looked down at my grandfather who quit high school and enlisted at 17 after Pearl. I am sure he felt my grandfather was ignorant and was used. My grandfather was a silent hero, as we’re most of that generation. They were thankful, and a little embarrassed, at living through war. They were not perfect, but layed the groundwork to elect someone like the president. Doesn’t it seem strange that someone so learned can be so biased and ignorant. I guess that is what makes us human, but th president is full of himself.

    Reply this comment
    • Timberrrrrr......
      Timberrrrrr...... 7 December, 2014, 20:43

      Don’t pay him any mind, desmond. Obama is a proven liar many times over and has brought great shame upon our nation. Hypocrite extraordinaire. Just because he holds a powerful political position as an American you have no obligation to respect him. That is your inalienable right. Remember how other nations admired him in 2008? Today he’s universally despised. The only ones who still feign admiration are those who voted for him and are too ashamed to admit they made a horrendous mistake. On this day of infamy my heart goes out to all the family members of our precious service members who lost their lives due to Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama’s perpetuation of futile and destructive wars.

      Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 7 December, 2014, 20:41

    His son. Ulysses.

    Our family paid their dues. No Euro purses or hiding under petticoats!

    Reply this comment
    • Timberrrrrr......
      Timberrrrrr...... 7 December, 2014, 20:50

      Ok, we’ll take your word for it. Afterall, this is the internet. Were you the one who scared away the Russian naval ships and backed Khrushchev down? Did you beat your shoe against ship’s hull? If so, got any pictures to prove it??? 🙂

      Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 7 December, 2014, 20:57

    You really are a first class jerk. You wouldn’t last one month in the service.

    Reply this comment
    • Timberrrrrr......
      Timberrrrrr...... 7 December, 2014, 21:12

      I am a vet actually. I served a longer than a normal tour, in fact. But you don’t have to thank me for my service. I’m not that self-indulgent. I actually thank the taxpayers for giving me a start in life, giving me 3 daily hots and a cot and helping me pay for my education. I am indebted to the wonderful taxpaying American citizens. I enlisted, so no one forced me to join the military. I went in voluntarily. No one coerced me. And I don’t feel compelled to list the service histories of my family members and relatives. I’m not wired that way. I don’t piggyback on what others have accomplished in their lives. 😉

      Reply this comment
    • Timberrrrrr......
      Timberrrrrr...... 8 December, 2014, 01:03

      When I was in I was just an enlisted grunt, Officer Ulysses. However, my shined boots were always bloused, my shirts were starched and my brass was squeaky clean, sir. My company commander never had to draw up paper on me and I ETS’ed with an honorable discharge. I was never invited to the Officer’s Club for a beer since I wasn’t a brown noser. I just wasn’t wired like that. Well, I suppose I could’ve been if I worked at it. I just chose not to. I’d rather hang with my fellow grunts. I was sort of like the character “Radar” on MASH. If there was a choice TDY assignment I’d find it. They offered me a few grand and a promo to stay in. I never took the bait. I couldn’t deal with all the pukes and treads. It takes a special kind of man to last 20. God just didn’t design my DNA that way. Were you a lifer, Officer Ulysses?

      Reply this comment
  6. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 7 December, 2014, 20:58

    What I did back then is not for public consumption. Only believe you were well protected.

    Reply this comment
    • Timberrrrrr......
      Timberrrrrr...... 7 December, 2014, 21:16

      Yes, we’re sure that you were a real Audie Murphy. I assume it was all classified and we don’t have the need to know anyway. That’s fine. Thank you for your selfless service to our nation.

      Reply this comment
    • Timberrrrrr......
      Timberrrrrr...... 7 December, 2014, 21:31

      Oh, I’m just curious. You claim that you were a naval officer. Did you start off as an enlisted barnacle schucker or were you so smart that you automatically floated right to the top and got your commission? From our conversation my guess is that you’re incredibly intelligent and bypassed the enlisted ranks. Did you ever consider moving up to the Pentagon?

      Reply this comment
      • T Mind of Ted Your God
        T Mind of Ted Your God 8 December, 2014, 08:53

        Timberrrr— You are pathetic— in the rear with the gear no doubt. You can’t respect a guy like U haul who does not trumpet his service like you do? lmao

        zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        Reply this comment
        • Timberrrrrr......
          Timberrrrrr...... 8 December, 2014, 12:43

          I didn’t even mentioned my military service until Uhaul claimed that I “wouldn’t last a month in the service”. Uhaul made a false statement about me and I just cleaned it up for the record. That’s all. It’s got nothing to do with ‘trumpeting’ my service. No idea how you drug that bone into the room. But you don’t need to thank me for my service either. It’s not necessary. I joined voluntarily for 3 hots and a cot and don’t purport to be anybody’s hero. I knew the mission of the military when I joined. It came as no surprise.

          Reply this comment
          • T Mind of Ted Your God
            T Mind of Ted Your God 8 December, 2014, 20:21

            Backpeddle all you want Timbrrrr—– Some gave all—–pipe down

          • Timberrrrrr......
            Timberrrrrr...... 8 December, 2014, 22:43

            I could have ‘gave all’ too. It just wasn’t my time. But even if I had “gave all” IMO I would still not be a hero. I volunteered. I knew the mission of the military. I was willing to undergo whatever destiny held for me for 3 hots and a cot. That’s the risk I took. And to be brutally honest, I did it more for myself than for country. For me it worked out, by the grace of God. Would I do it over again? Knowing what I know today? Probably. In that short time span I lived a lot of life. But as young kids we tend to rush in where angels fear to tread. As an old man looking back in the rear view mirror I just shake my head. But I refuse any thanks for my time served. It would be dishonest. The gratitude is all mine. 🙂

          • T Mind of Ted Your God
            T Mind of Ted Your God 9 December, 2014, 12:12

            LOL–=-= Timbnrr aka the OcOddball— aka the oc observer CONTINUES to boast about his in the rear with the gear service! LMAO NEVER outside the wire!!!!!

          • Timberrrrrr......
            Timberrrrrr...... 9 December, 2014, 13:28

            You wouldn’t make a decent blackhead on my posterior, chuckles. All you got are weak and unfunny personal insults. Nothing of substance. You’re a Loser with a capital “L”. Debating you is like debating a 7 year old who was sent back a class. And each time you lose you either go silent and run away or get mad and fling personal insults with your filty potty mouth. The moderator should get his bar of soap and give you a good gargle cleaning. And your disrespect for solid vets who earned an honorable discharge is repulsive. 😀

          • Ted
            Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 10 December, 2014, 17:20

            OC Observer— There alot of us out here who served little buddy—- you’ll notice alot of us don’t drone on about it like you do ALL the time!

            Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

            OC Oddball—in the rear with the gear– MOS– 4017 cook oooooooooouch

  7. Wolfman
    Wolfman 8 December, 2014, 12:12

    all wars suck and should only be used as a last resort

    Reply this comment
    • Timberrrrrr......
      Timberrrrrr...... 8 December, 2014, 12:51

      War has become a recreational sport for America, Wolfman. That’s a big problem. We’ve become a bully nation. Now we’re egging on Putin. That could end very badly. I was proud of America’s participation in WW2. All the other wars since have been a waste of money and human blood. All these other parasitical nations expect us to protect them so they don’t have to invest massive quantities of their own tax dollars to build a national defense. Hence, whenever turds start hitting the fan anywhere in the world America is right in the middle of it. And our boys end up dying. And I resent it.

      Reply this comment
      • Ted
        Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 10 December, 2014, 15:32

        OC Oddball—

        Are you taking your meds? Honestly— worry about ya little buddy! Those RURGS are pretty long. You realize that none of us are reading them, right?

        Reply this comment
        • Timberrrrrr......
          Timberrrrrr...... 10 December, 2014, 19:25

          When’s the last time you served a day in the military? Cluck-Cluck. So what would you know? Cluck-Cluck. You just spend your time disrespecting those of us who have. Cluck-Cluck. My guess is that you wouldn’t have made it past the reception center. A DI would yell at you and you’d cry! 😀

          Reply this comment
          • Ted
            Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 13 December, 2014, 09:33

            Timber–aka OC Oddball–

            While I KNOW you desperately want to again brag about your probably stolen valor (in the rear with the gear), Nothing you post will get me to talk about my service with you in this forum.

            That would be casting pearls before swine.

            It’s in the Bible– google it little buddy!

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