Saturday, December 7, 2013

Running Out of Time - Pearl Harbor Remembered

I'm super rushed today, and that makes it difficult to post what I had wanted, but I'm going to try to push this through.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy made a bold strike against the military of the United States, sending planes and a few submarines to make a surprise attack on the US fleet that was anchored at the sheltered bay of Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. (Read more by following the link.)

The US was not officially an entrant in the war at that point, the populace of the nation was against entering a war at all and our role was limited to a support role. Pearl Harbor changed all of that in one stroke of explosives, lost lives and ships, and devastating damage. In spite of the extreme damage to many of the vessels in the Harbor, several were able to be repaired and soon played major roles in the Pacific theatre of WWII. The US formally declared war against Japan on December 8, 1941. By December 11, 1941, declarations of support of Japan by Germany and Italy had led to the US expanding their declaration of war to include Germany and Italy. Quite suddenly the US was embroiled in a war - a huge one.

There is a tendency for history books to concentrate on the European theatre in WWII and although books, many excellent books for that matter, do exist dealing with the Pacific theatre, it was a much harder campaign to write about and to fight. The casualties on both sides were frighteningly high. Where there was room to move and run in the large landmass of Europe, there was nowhere by ocean surrounding the major battlefields of the Pacific. Instead this war was fought island by bloody island.

The entry of the US into the war meant each small island became
an individual battle ground. This picture is from Iwo Jima.
(Follow the link to find out about Iwo Jima.)

On this day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I want to take a moment to think about those who served in WWII, as well as all of those who serve in the name of freedom in subsequent and in current wars. I salute those who serve - warrior is one of the oldest professions and yet I am amazed every time someone volunteers to place themselves into the line of fire for the sake of people they may have never met. Thank a soldier today.

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