is always a hard one for me.
In early December of '73 I stood on the flight deck of the Kittyhawk as we pulled into Pearl Harbor; the ghosts dancing in my head as I tried to envision that terrible morning. Hundreds of photos, newsreels and all of the movies from then and now have only added to the spectres, but not like one piece I read a few years ago. An interview with an "Arizona" survivor.
A man who, luckily enough, was below deck and aft when hell was unleashed. Though shaken and deafened, he made his way topside and was trying to help others off the ship as he made his own escape.
He saw a shipmate he knew who seemed completely dazed and in trying to guide him, grasped his elbow.
The arm crumbled beneath his fingers, the skin and muscle flash-charred to ash...his shipmate dead but still walking.
Nothing will ever lessen our loss that morning! The passage of time; the loss of those who lived through it; the refusal of our modern corporate media to discuss it; the number of supposedly educated who have no idea what the date was, where Pearl Harbor is, or the living breathing ship pictured above that became an instant tomb for so very many that horrible day.
The movie "Pearl Harbor" from a few years ago shows them using cargo nets to retrieve the bodies from the harbor...it wasn't something they made up!
The years and the dwindling numbers of those who lived through that hell on Earth have done nothing to lessen their sacrifice. With the 70th anniversary of that attack and our entry into WW2 approaching, please look around you at anyone you see who is in their mid-80's and thank them! Whether military or civilian, all gave something to the effort that allowed us to be here, whether it was an active military role; the industrial outpouring that supported them; the scrap and food drives and rationing that supported all!
And as you listen to the voices of today proclaiming "me" and "mine", wonder along with me if that effort would ever be possible again!
"Remember Pearl Harbor" is a cry that needs to never be allowed to die!
May the week be kind to each of you!
Photo is from the Navy Archives; the USS Arizona in the late 1930's, blue toned by me.