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December 7th, 1941

The seventy-second anniversary of “a date which will live in infamy…”

The official US Navy site on the Pearl Harbor attack.

There will be a memorial service aboard NAS Pensacola that normally features local survivors of the attack. Obviously there are fewer of them every year.

They have their own license plates, but few can still drive:

Pearl Harbor Survivors Plate


1 Badtux { 12.07.13 at 4:24 pm }

My father, a Korean War veteran, would be 80 this year.

All of my elderly WW2 veteran relatives are dead now. Men in our family die young. Not as young as the millions who died because men of no honor moved pushpins around a map as if the human cost of doing so was irrelevant, though.

2 Bryan { 12.07.13 at 10:21 pm }

There were only a couple of survivors in the picture of today’s ceremony in Pensacola.

My Dad would have been 92, but he died just short of 70. His family lives to their 70s, while 100 isn’t unusual in my Mother’s family.

The people who advocate war should be in the front row of the first battle, so they can learn what they wanted to happen is actually all about.

3 Badtux { 12.08.13 at 1:23 am }

That is why I talk about those with no honor who push pins around a map without reflection upon the human cost. If they had honor, they would go out there where the pin was pushed and be on the front line. Soldiers of honor too often are betrayed by politicians with no honor who misuse their trust in ways that are wrong.

None of my relatives were Pearl Harbor survivors. As hard-scrabble sharecroppers they were too busy trying to get crops in to put food on the table to join the military. Then the draft started and their world got widened hugely. I have fragments of a letter that a relative at a massive military base near Atlanta, GA wrote to my grandfather, who was deaf and thus exempt, while my grandfather was trying to purchase land of his own for his wife and his new-born child (my mother). I can only imagine what a man who had never been more than 40 miles from his home must have felt like when he’s in a major world-class city with people from all over America. And that story was replicated widely, it changed America, for the better, because for a time the country was united because you could not demonize someone you’d served beside for four years. Sadly, I have only fragments, for by the time I became interested in collecting that history, the majority were either gone or not interested in talking about it. Also sadly, that lesson in our common humanity didn’t survive the passing of most of that generation :( .

4 Bryan { 12.08.13 at 11:25 pm }

The end of the draft really put the final nail in the coffin. People don’t interact with people outside their immediate circle. Even without a war, the mixing of people from different places with different backgrounds breaks down barriers. More and more, people are building the barriers higher.

We are fragmenting again, and I don’t see it getting better any time soon.

5 Badtux { 12.09.13 at 7:23 pm }

Which reminds me of Israel. In the days when every Israeli was required to serve either in the military or equivalent public service, it actually functioned as a nation. Today, the ultra-Orthodox have exempted themselves from military or equivalent public service and do not mingle with the other sects, and as a result national unity has frayed to the breaking point. The next war Israel will be involved in will be a civil war.

6 Bryan { 12.09.13 at 8:38 pm }

In addition to not serving in the military, the ultra-Orthodox don’t think Israel is legitimate because it wasn’t recreated by the Messiah, as was foretold.

Young Israelis are emigrating to Europe and North America faster than they can attract immigrants, so things are only going to get worse.