Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day December 7th …Reflections by Mary E. Latela, December 7, 2015
Most of us do not remember the day, Sunday, December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor in Hawaii was attacked mightily and by surprise as soldiers were just finishing breakfast. Despite a promise not to attack, the Japanese military bombed battleships, killed soldiers and civilians.
After just two hours of bombing, more than 2,400 Americans were dead, 21 ships* had either been sunk or damaged, and more than 188 U.S. aircraft destroyed. Later that same day, Japanese forces attacked Guam., the Philippines, Wake Island, Midway Island, and had their sites on Australia. On December 8th President Franklin Roosevelt, described the attacks as “A day that that live in infamy.” American got involved. http://history1900s.about.com/od/worldwarii/a/Attack-Pearl-Harbor_2.htm
I have a copy of my Dad’s draft application; in 1942, he and his two brothers registered in Maine, and shortly thereafter, they were called up. 1942 the five Sullivan brothers from Iowa were killed in one attack, and then it was decided that brothers could not serve together, and the oldest son was sent home. So Uncle Joe came home to take care of their parents, work, keep in touch with the boys, take care of their sisters, too.
Wars expand, exponentially, and in WWII, the Pacific theater was more than matched by the war in Europe. Lands from which we had emigrated were decimated. And the end came after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan: Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945; Nagasaki on Aug. 9. Both cities were obliterated. Japan surrendered.
The beginning is never just the beginning, and the end is never the end. So many stories haunt us when we think about what war does – it kills people. It can bring up scary leaders with mega egos, who love war, and who gorge on power. Those middle tales are woven into the tapestry of WWII, so that we would not forget. I surely hope that we will never forget.