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75 years

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Seventy five years ago today, December 7, at 8:06 Hawaii Standard Time, HST, the Japanese struck at Pear Harbor.  


Think about this.  If a sailor or soldier legally at enlistment age and immediately stationed at Pearl Harbor they would be at least 92-93 years old.  


My personal story involving the attack at Pearl;


In the case of my dads side of the family, my oldest uncle, Walter, born in 1918 enlisted in the National guard in 1932 at the age of 14 and joined the navy in 1936 and was stationed at Pearl in about 1939.  Grandpa being an officer in the National Guard made it so early enlistment age (falsified) was not questioned for all 3 of his sons.  Walter being the oldest, my father born in 1920 who served in the army and Edward the  youngest born in 1926 got into the V-12 program while in high school decided upon the navy and on graduation from high school went the the University of Illinois as part of the V-12 program. which meant the navy paid for his college program and upon graduation became an Ensign. In the case of Edward being formally enlisted in the navy before the end of WWII and upon completion of his Naval Aviator training was assigned to carriers where he flew missions over Korea for 2 tours.  However even as a newly minted Ensign he was able to wear a WWII service ribbon.  He was one of the Mustang Pilots which meant he did follow the normal route to his being an aviator.


In my father's case when Pearl was bombed his national guard company was immediately told to report to Jefferson Barracks for being sworn in as regular army.  They were put into cattle cars and shipped to Indian Gap, PA for some training, shipped in cattle cars to Mobile, AL for a month of guarding the piers and then by cattle cars to NYC where they were put on cargo ships (7 hammocks deep in the cargo holds) and thru the Panama Canal out into the Pacific on their way to the Philippines.  En route Douglas MacArthur, always called Dugout Doug by my Dad, lost the Philippines so the convoy my father was on circled in the Pacific for 54 days before being routed to the south Pacific.


My point is that it was a very different time where USA solders and sailors along with all USA citizens went thru almost immediate hardships after Pearl Harbor was bombed.  Actually Pearl was just the trigger as the USA had by 1939 known we were going to war. 


 Anyway you look at it Pearl Harbor is fast becoming history without those who lived it still being alive.  Our WWII veterans are getting old and filling cemeteries.  Korean war vets are in their 80s, Vietnam vets are not spring chickens any more. I took a class in 20th century history back when my Bride and I went back to college in 87.  The professor, Stanley Zucker who thought all history was connected to the holocaust, asked all students who were born before the Vietnam war to stand up.  Out of 300+ people in that auditorium only Zucker and myself were born before the Vietnam conflict/war started.


Stop and think about how many wars/conflicts have happened since you were born.  I was born 4 days before D-Day when the outcome of WWII was definitely not decided.


So at what ever time 8:06 a.m. HST converts to your time, stop for a moment and think about what happened 75 years ago today.  It started the last war that the USA was declared to be on the WINNING side.  If you are able to shake the hand of a WWII vet today and especially one that went thru Pearl Harbor give them a special thanks for being part of the greatest generation.

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