Opinion

80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack

About 30 WWII Pearl Harbor survivors and 100 other veterans have returned to Pearl Harbor for the 80th anniversary of the attack. What they remember should shake up the selfish members of our society. It won’t, of course. But it should. So many of our WWII veterans are now deceased. Most of them didn’t want to talk about what happened that day…but they never forgot it.

The attack began at 0748 a.m. When Japanese aircraft began strafing the barracks at Hickam Field, service members scrambled to get out of bed and get to their duty stations. Running across the compound was horrific: walking wounded, dead bodies strewn around them, aircraft on the field and ships in the harbor aflame, the roar of attacking Japanese aircraft…it was merely the beginning of their need for courage in the face of death.

Hickam Field on December 7, 1941
Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
Seaman 1st Class David Russell, 101, USS Oklahoma

He recalls heading topside when the attack started because he was trained to load anti-aircraft guns and figured he could help if any other loader got hurt.

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But Japanese torpedo planes dropped a series of underwater missiles that pummeled the Oklahoma before he could get there. Within 12 minutes, the hulking battleship capsized.

“Those darn torpedoes, they just kept hitting us and kept hitting us. I thought they’d never stop,” Russell said. “That ship was dancing around.”

Russell clambered over and around toppled lockers while the battleship slowly rolled over.

“You had to walk sort of sideways,” he said.

Once he got to the main deck, he crawled over the ship’s side and eyed the USS Maryland moored next door. He didn’t want to swim because leaked oil was burning in the water below. Jumping, he caught a rope hanging from the Maryland and escaped to that battleship without injury.

Military,com

Russell told Military.com that he didn’t often talk about his experience that day. The carnage, the smells and sounds still haunt him. It’s the same for every other Pearl Harbor survivor…both those who have already passed on and those like Russell still living. The attack killed 2,403 people, and damaged or destroyed 19 US Navy ships. The 80th anniversary has history lessons and when we fail to learn from them, we will repeat them.

David Russell is among the veterans who traveled to Pearl Harbor on December 7, 2021. The 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack carries with it reminders that the “woke” agenda never solves problems: sometimes you have to fight. Neville Chamberlain, the hapless British official who thought you could appease Hitler was disgraced as the Nazi air force ravaged England with bombs instead of peace.

“The response to the attack on Pearl Harbor represents an American legacy — a legacy of courageous men and women willing to stand up and defend liberty at home and abroad. It’s because the Greatest Generation was willing to stand up to tyranny abroad that my family is able to live in peace and prosperity here at home today.

I served overseas in the Army in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve. Today, 80 years after Pearl Harbor, I’m proud to be a part of a longstanding legacy. It’s my hope and prayer that the ‘sleeping giant’ that was awakened 80 years ago will still have the courage, will, and fortitude to pursue peace through strength for generations to come.”

Jeremiah Martin, US Army veteran

Fighting tyranny takes lions, not lambs.

*****

H/T Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children

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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. All of her posts on Conservative Firing Line are also posted on Uncle Sam's.

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