Friday, December 07, 2007

Pearl Harbor Day Salute

This morning I received an email from an old Army buddy who lives in New Hampshire. It was titled Pearl Harbor Day. Here are parts of that email:

“My Dad as most of you know was at Pearl Harbor when it got bombed by the Japs.US Army Combat Engineers stationed at Schofield Barracks.”

“He was on the roof of Schofield shooting anti-aircraft guns when a bomb went through the roof within 10 feet of him, went straight through everything and ended up stuck in the ground and never blew up. I wouldn't be saying this if it had. That bomb is still in the ground today as a memorial. After Pearl he went to save the Marines at Guadalcanal. Fun times. Great nightmares. Dad will be 87 next month and is in great health.”

My friend goes on to say that it would make his father happy if we sent him an email or gave him a call. So I’m going one better and dedicating today’s Blog to those who (alive or dead) were at the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.

There aren’t too many survivors still around to tell us about “a date which will live in infamy”. In my lifetime I have only met two survivors and know of three (I have never met my friend’s father). The two that I met have both passed away, but I remember their stories of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor vividly.

They spoke of the carnage (2,333 killed and 1,139 wounded), the individual heroism of others in their units, and the effect that it had on their lives. They were young and hadn’t ever seen combat. They were not fully prepared for the events of that day. They had both lost friends and knew that this event would put us at war with Japan where they would lose more friends.

The USS Arizona took on the most personnel loses in the attack on Pearl Harbor and now stands as a memorial to all that had died (all military services – not only Navy) in combat on December 7, 1941. Every President subsequent to FDR has visited the Memorial.

Today I stand up and solemnly salute all that served at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 with a special salute to my friend’s father Bill Hallahan, a survivor. President John F. Kennedy once said “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender or submission.”

The Beach Bum

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful George - a better tribute can not be found.

Fri Dec 07, 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are truly gifted. I too emailed John's dad but your 'gift' to recognize him along with the thousands who have served then and since is a distinguishing feature that warms my heart.
God Bless you brother,
Pal Val

Fri Dec 07, 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proud to have the Hallahans living in Plaistow N.H.

Sat Dec 08, 11:07:00 AM  
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