December 7th – A Day Still Living In Infamy: The Attack On Pearl Harbor Remembered

Posted By: 'Okie' | 7:40 am — 12/7/2014 | Leave a Comment


PearlHarborMemorial

I originally posted this in 2005 and have updated it a couple of times. I like to present it every December 7th as the story is as poignant as ever, especially with our troops still in theater in Afghanistan and now being tasked to thwart the ISIS threat and help in the Ebola-stricken countries of West Africa. They really are our best and brightest — far too many were lost 73 years ago today.

USS_Oklahoma-postalHandstamp

Last year in the November issue of Smithsonian Magazine, one of the objects rescued from the sinking USS Oklahoma was the ship’s postmark handstamp dated Dec. 6th, 1941. It was featured in the article “101 Objects That Changed America”, and although this item itself certainly didn’t change anything, the events of that fateful day changed EVERYTHING.

We came together as a nation after the attack on Pearl, and after our own generation suffered the attack on 9/11/2001. Here in 2014, we find the United States about as divided in ideology as it was just before the Civil War, and our Executive branch of government seemingly want to ignite the race war to end all race wars. We must never forget what happened 73 years ago, as well as only 13 years ago. There are still tens of millions of radical Islamists out there that want ALL of us dead. The policies of the last 6 years have fractured our relationships with friends and enemies alike. The Middle East is in MORE turmoil, and the stability achieved in the hard fought win in Iraq is crumbling, as is the plight of women in Afghanistan, again. The Islamic State is on the rise, and slaughtering innocents and hostages alike, posting their evil deeds online for the world to see.

We Americans saved the world from tyranny in WWII, not sure that we have the stomach for ever doing that again. However, the world will always be a dangerous place, with tyrants and dreamers of nightmares to inflict on their fellow humans… Like the Talking Heads song says, “Same as it ever was . . . same as it ever was.”

— Okie, 12/7/2014


This post is one that I wrote in 2005 to commemorate this tragic, special day. Instead of just linking to it I decided to post it anew, as the stories of those that worked valiantly to save as many lives as possible deserve to be told again. The comments that I made about our brave men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq are even more true today. Our fathers, mothers, uncles and aunts — The Greatest Generation — stepped up, took on the mantle of terrible responsibility and did their duty — history awaits whether we will stay the course and complete the tasks that destiny has assigned to our own.


[From ‘Okie’ — 2005:]

It’s Pearl Harbor day, and most veterans, especially those that saw battle, never talk to non-veterans about their military service. In my own family, I know that all of my uncles served, many in WWII, but only much later, most after their passings, did I find out only a little of what they had done in the war.

My wife’s and my father were Navy guys, mine a pharmacists mate on a troop/supply transport ship named the “Mighty A”. The most dangerous thing that he ever told me about was his ship being hit with a dud torpedo. If it hadn’t been a dud, the story would have been more exciting, but he would not have been the one to tell me about it! I know nothing about my wife’s father’s Navy experiences, I just have a picture of him in his dress blues, dashing in appearance, with a small earring worn in a defiant manner, along with a scan of his honorable discharge that I worked into a pictorial tribute that accompanied his funeral almost a decade ago. Several of his brothers were also in the Navy, a couple were in the BUDs area of service that later became the Navy SEALS, and were covert operatives in Naval Intelligence and served in later branches of the intelligence services during Korea and Vietnam.

Which brings me to today, Pearl Harbor Day. I don’t know if any of my uncles were at Pearl Harbor. If they were, they never talked about it with me. In reading the LA Times this AM, I learned that the USS Oklahoma, a 27,500-ton Nevada class battleship, and the men who served and died aboard her, have finally been given their own special acknowledgment.

Tribute to Pearl Harbor Battleship Is Unveiled

From Times Wire Reports

Sixty-three years after the surprise attack that plunged the United States into World War II, hundreds of men who died aboard the battleship Oklahoma are finally getting their own special tribute.

A new exhibit of photos, artifacts and oral histories was unveiled in Honolulu to honor the 429 men from the Oklahoma who died in the Dec. 7, 1941, attack by the Japanese.

That is the second-highest number of Pearl Harbor casualties behind the battleship Arizona, where most of its 1,177 killed crew members remain entombed after the ship sank in the attack.

I guess King Neptune had plans for this mighty ship, other than allowing her to be scrapped. The Kansas City Star adds more information to the above.

The Oklahoma was refloated in 1943 and sold for scrap after the war, but it sank in the Pacific Ocean while being towed to California.

Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and other military bases on Oahu lasted two hours. Twenty-one ships were heavily damaged, and 320 aircraft were damaged or destroyed. In all, about 2,390 persons were killed and about 1,178 were wounded, according to the National Park Service, which maintains the Arizona site.


Powerline
has a wonderful tribute that includes President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech asking Congress for a declaration of war and Churchill’s reaction.

As we remember those lost and those who fought so bravely on this day, 63 years ago, let us reflect on the fact that Japan is now one of our strongest allies and important trading partners. It took a long time to help them overcome the damage to their country and society caused by their leaders’ wartime ambitions, but with our guidance and financial help, Japan was brought into the modern world and became an important part of the world’s economy. They are a part of the “Coalition of the Willing” in Iraq.

We must look to our past and not be too impatient in our present. The same fighting spirit of our fathers and forefathers exits within the warriors that are helping the Iraqi people even at this very minute. Many will come back, and not tell their stories for years to come, if at all, but they will be valiant stories, none the less! . . . db

[Update] LGF provides this link to the Navy’s archive of images and information, with some of the pics taken from Japanese warplanes.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

According to the Navy site the following is what was going on here, as taken from a Japanese fighter:

Torpedo planes attack “Battleship Row” at about 0800 on 7 December, seen from a Japanese aircraft. Ships are, from lower left to right: Nevada (BB-36) with flag raised at stern; Arizona (BB-39) with Vestal (AR-4) outboard; Tennessee (BB-43) with West Virginia (BB-48) outboard; Maryland (BB-46) with Oklahoma (BB-37) outboard; Neosho (AO-23) and California (BB-44).
West Virginia, Oklahoma and California have been torpedoed, as marked by ripples and spreading oil, and the first two are listing to port. Torpedo drop splashes and running tracks are visible at left and center.
White smoke in the distance is from Hickam Field. Grey smoke in the center middle distance is from the torpedoed USS Helena (CL-50), at the Navy Yard’s 1010 dock.
Japanese writing in lower right states that the image was reproduced by authorization of the Navy Ministry.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Vertical aerial view of “Battleship Row”, beside Ford Island, during the early part of the horizontal bombing attack on the ships moored there. Photographed from a Japanese aircraft.
Ships seen are (from left to right): USS Tennessee with USS West Virginia moored outboard; USS Maryland with USS Oklahoma moored outboard; and USS Neosho, only partially visible at the extreme right. West Virginia and Oklahoma are gushing oil from their many torpedo hits and are listing to port. Oklahoma’s port deck edge is already under water. Nevada has also been torpedoed.

Battleship row at Pearl Harbor

Rescue teams at work on the capsized hull of USS Oklahoma (BB-37), seeking crew members trapped inside, 7 December 1941. The starboard bilge keel is visible at the top of the upturned hull.
Officers’ Motor Boats from Oklahoma and USS Argonne (AG-31) are in the foreground.
USS Maryland (BB-46) is in the background.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

I hope that the Navy won’t mind that I’ve “borrowed” these three images and descriptions to help make this a better presentation and memorial for this day. I urge anyone interested in Pearl Harbor to follow the links to the Navy Archives site to better comprehend the full extent of the tragedy and valiant courage that defines this “day that lives in infamy”!

(Okie)

Postal Stamp Image is from here: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/aroundthemall/2009/12/remembering-pearl-harbor/


10 Years Later… What Went Around, Comes Back Around

Posted By: 'Okie' | 9:15 am — 10/29/2014 | Comments Off


10YearsAgo

Ten years ago this month, ‘Okie’ made the switch from being a Blogger.com blog to a self-hosted WordPress-powered platform for my personal bloviating.  Like this year, 2004 was also an election year, a PRESIDENTIAL election year, and as I look back on the archives, this writer was a tireless supporter for the reelection of George W. Bush to a second term, over the rather pathetic Democrat candidate, our current Sec. of State, John (“I’m reporting for duty”) Kerry.

We had to wait another two whole years for the Dems to take over Congress in 2006, where they began plowing the ground for the election of a Democrat president.  Who at that time would have thought it possible that Barack Obama, an unproven, inexperienced politician from Chicago, would become POTUS?  With all that happened during his first term, it’s even more inconceivable that he would have been reelected in 2012.  One thing we do know, our Narcissist-in-Chief loves nothing more than the sound of his own voice, and to further that love affair, continues to campaign tirelessly for his party and its nominees — even when he should be back at the D.C. ranch taking care of Presidential business.  Why?  Because, it’s really all that he knows how to do well.

Barack Obama… he’s always been, and will always be…

“The Candidate”

obamaCandidate-1Yeah, the “nutters” actually won… who woulda thought?

 


OUR Greatest Challenge Awaits US… Can WE Rise To It?

Posted By: 'Okie' | 9:38 am — 9/1/2014 | 1 Comment


And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  —  Matthew 24:6

The anniversary of 9/11 is only days away and as Americans we should be ever vigilant for signs of a new attack.  ISIS is threatening such an event. Judicial Watch has written that the Feds are gearing up for a big one on the Southern border, due to ISIS having become affiliated with the Mexican drug cartels in Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, TX.

This AM I read the following at Breitbart: Rocker Girl, Mother of Two ISIS Recruit Wants to Behead Christians with ‘a Blunt Knife’ and just had to write about it over at The Kitchen Cabinet’s Facebook page:

We live in perilous times. We are weary of war. We just want to be left alone to our comfortable lives, our big screen TVs, our Friday night football games, the sounds of our children playing T-ball, our Facebook, our Twitter, our iPhones and X-Boxes…

Rocker Islamic Radical GirlHowever, there are forces out there that are determined to take ALL of that away from US, even recruiting from among us to do so. The executioner of American journalist James Foley was a Brit, rapper L-Jinny. The gal pictured here married an extremist, has changed her name, and they have gone to the IS caliphate to be with Foley’s killer to “do their part” for jihad. She lusts for the opportunity to decapitate her “enemies” with a dull knife. These are not new, unique events… history is full of this kind of murder and mayhem.

The Greatest Generation is almost all gone from our midst. They would be seeing the signs, as they also witnessed a great evil arising in the middle of Western Europe and Japan, and later in greater Asia. Weary from WWI and ravished from the fallout of the Great Depression there was no stomach for beginning the doing of what needed to be done. Until… the Japanese brought the war to US at Pearl Harbor.

We got this upcoming war brought to our shores on September 11, 2001 with devastating direct strikes on our major financial district and our Pentagon. By the heroics of passengers who knew they were doomed either way and chose to die defending their country, one of our national seats of government was spared on that day.

We have NO idea how many radical Islamic terrorists have crossed the Southern border in the latest waves of illegal infiltrations, and neither do we know how many of them were flown to destinations across the land during the time the illegals were being allowed to board domestic flights without ID or documentation.

Sec. of State John Kerry will use a Nato summit and try to put together a ‘world coalition’ to fight ISIS on its home turf. The Saudi King has announced that ISIS will bring terror “in Europe in a month and US a month after.”

We are tired… we are financially exhausted… we don’t want to sacrifice our children and grandchildren to the ravages of war. No one of good heart ever does.

The big question is, how much do we want to survive as a society? What will we be leaving to our children? Will the future of America be the Freedom of our Founders, or the brutal, bloodthirsty Sharia of the medieval Arabian desert?

FoleysExecutionThis is what the “brutal, bloodthirsty Sharia of the medieval Arabian desert” looks like. This is the British rapper L-Jinny moments before he takes that knife and brutally removes the head from the body of living American photo-journalist, James Foley.

What will be the response when ISIS infiltrators start posting videos like this on social media that have been shot in the desert outside Las Vegas, in the vast areas of New Mexico, from Times Square?

Why does President Barack Obama admit to the world that his administration has NO plan to deal with the likes of ISIS, and then cavalierly go golfing, again?

Our world is not what we think it is… it is a far more dangerous, brutal and deadly place. Modern civilization is a thin veneer of sophistication and ease, covering a deep well of evil, like an active volcano, ready to erupt at any time with violent, deadly force.

Unlike with a volcano, we can fight against this evil, if we have the will, and the faith.

That’s the question… do we?


Happy Father’s Day

Posted By: 'Okie' | 8:39 am — 6/15/2014 | 6 Comments


Dad-and-Dale

 

It WAS the “best of times”…


Memorial Day 2014

Posted By: 'Okie' | 9:47 am — 5/26/2014 | 4 Comments


Memorial Day

“American Soldier”

“And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price.
I’ve counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice.
Oh, and I don’t want to die for you,
But if dying’s asked of me,
I’ll bear that cross with honor,
‘Cause freedom don’t come free.

I’m an American soldier, an American,
Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand,
When liberty’s in jeopardy I will always do what’s right,
I’m out here on the front lines. Sleep in peace tonight.
American soldier, I’m an American soldier, …”

— Toby Keith


The Racism of an NBA Team Owner and the Long Knives of the Press

Posted By: 'Okie' | 9:01 am — 4/30/2014 | 1 Comment


DonSterlingWe had quite a weekend our here in Southern California over the LA Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling’s private conversation with his mistress in which she goaded him into an incoherent racist rant. Subsequent mass outrage has cost him ownership of the team and a lifetime ban from the NBA. Good riddance to Donald Sterling in professional basketball.

However, the LA City Council is requesting all local papers to stop accepting ads from his companies (he owns tons of rental properties, 100s — 1000s?) So the question comes up, “Does a private conversation now rise to the occasion as to being the basis for destroying a person’s livelihood?”

KareemTo my mind, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former Lakers center, has the most rational take on the entire circus. He has lived with, studied and written about racism in America his entire life and sees much to be concerned about in the press melee that converged on Sterling.

Abdul-Jabbar, perhaps channeling his closet libertarianism, also blasted the fact that Sterling’s private conversation — however racist — was suddenly broadcast nationwide.

“Didn’t we just call to task the NSA for intruding into American citizen’s privacy in such an un-American way?” he asked, comparing the secret tape-recording to Mitt Romney’s embarrassing 47 percent remark, recorded without the then-candidate’s knowledge.

“The making and release of this tape is so sleazy that just listening to it makes me feel like an accomplice to the crime,” Abdul-Jabbar fumed. “We didn’t steal the cake but we’re all gorging ourselves on it.”

“So, if we’re all going to be outraged,” the former NBA star concluded, “let’s be outraged that we weren’t more outraged when his racism was first evident. Let’s be outraged that private conversations between people in an intimate relationship are recorded and publicly played. Let’s be outraged that whoever did the betraying will probably get a book deal, a sitcom, trade recipes with Hoda and Kathie Lee, and soon appear on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ and ‘Dancing with the Stars.’”

Guess the next question to be asked is, “Who’s next?”