Pearl Harbor 68 Years After

December 7th, 2009 | by Sqotty |

It was 68 years ago today that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, bringing the United States into World War 2. The Empire of Japan planned and executed the surprise attack; although their intentions were to have a Declaration of War delivered just prior to the beginning of the attack, that part of their plan failed, resulting in the waking of the “Sleeping Giant” that would eventually, with the other allied forces, defeat the Axis powers.

As we all know, the U.S.S. Arizona sank with nearly all hands aboard, a monument was built above it, where it sits at the bottom of the harbor.

Japan used over 400 aircraft in the raid, sinking numerous U.S. Naval vessels in the harbor. That so many ships were sunk, and many aircraft destroyed, not to mention the loss of so many lives in an attack on an unprepared America, was a significant, but not fatal blow to U.S. Naval power in the Pacific. As Fate would have it, the ships that sank were in shallow water and enabled our nation to float and repair most of the ships that were lost that day. Had they been sunk in deep water outside of the harbor, the loss of those ships would have been permanent and a far more significant blow to U.S. Naval power.

It was also fortunate that the aircraft carriers, Japan’s primary targets in the attack, were not present at Pearl Harbor, but had been deployed at sea. The fact that the carriers were not present, and, thus, their whereabouts unknown to the Japanese Navy, as well as improved anti-aircraft fire from the defenders of Pearl Harbor, moved the Japanese Commanders to choose to retire from the attack after the completion of the second wave. This, no doubt, saved the resources that would be needed at Pearl to refloat and repair many of the ships that were sunk in time to engage the enemy within a few months.

The attack on Pearl Harbor is an example of why America should always be vigilant, always watchful of what our enemies are doing, whether they are terrorists organizations such as al Qaeda, or nation states such as North Korea, Iran, and others with nuclear weapons.

As the years go by, there are fewer and fewer survivors of the actual attack to keep the memory of Pearl Harbor alive. It is becoming more important that those of us who came after should take up the pen and keep these memories alive.

Here’s a good piece on some of the survivors now in the Miami Herald, and a link to the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Honor them and always remember that day that will live in infamy.

Tags: ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.