Pearl Harbor — Priorities

In for a Penny, in for a Pound

Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor – Japanese aircraft temporarily disabled every battleship and most of the aircraft in the Hawaiian area. Other naval vessels, both combatant and auxiliary, were put out of action, and certain shore facilities, especially the Army airbases, Hickam and Wheeler Fields, the Naval air station, Ford Island and Kaneohe Bay were damaged. Most of the ships are now back with the fleet. The aircraft were all replaced within a few days, and interference with facilities was generally limited to a matter of hours.

That was from an initial Navy report days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a bit of an undersell—meant to belie the true situation to the American people and more importantly our enemies. In truth, the attack was extremely successful. Within the span of 90 minutes, 2,386 Americans perished and 18 ships (including five battleships) were sitting on the bottom of the ocean, either sunk or run aground.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it as, “A day that would live in infamy.” True to his words, we remember the black eye America received that day. However, that was not the end but rather the beginning of America’s woes. Four days later on December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. Plunged into World War II, the U.S. had little choice but to declare war on the two remaining Axis powers—in for a penny, in for a pound.

America had resolve. Our eye blackened and nose bloodied, we rose up, fought fiercely and valiantly and emerged a world superpower. Many point to this fact and credit Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto with having foretold our future when he famously said, “I fear all we have done is awoken a sleeping giant and filled him with terrible resolve.” Truer words may have never been spoken, but according to historians, these words were never uttered by Yamamoto either. They are a bit of history created by Hollywood in the movie Tora!, Tora!, Tora! Neither Japanese nor American historians can find any proof otherwise.

Circa 1958 A better quote—that is not fiction—came from Admiral Hara Tadichi of the Imperial Japanese navy, “We won a great victory at Pearl Harbor and thereby lost the war.” It is one thing to declare war, it is quite another to inflict mass casualties, without warning and before war has been formally declared. Likely the only other truly comparable event to Pearl Harbor was the attacks of 9/11. While not a direct comparison in deed or response, the way the attacks rallied Americans to a united response is noteworthy.

pearl-harbor-mem-day However, those were days where we (arguably) had stronger leaders in office and America was not as war-weary as it is today. The number of survivors of Pearl Harbor, and WWII in general, has naturally dwindled. As each veteran passes to be reunited with loved ones and service mates, the memory of their heroism and loss on December 7th seems to dwindle and pass as well.

Get Involved

If you know of a Pearl Harbor survivor or WWII veteran, please take time to call and thank them for their service. They were, and are, members of the “greatest generation” and their deeds and acts are the stuff that today’s warriors base their own actions. None set out to defend their country in search of glory or fame. All write a blank check payable for any amount up to and including their own lives. None expect to receive a check and be paid millions of dollars for a few months work—as do many of the actors portraying these heroes in the movies.

Be sure to thank the modern-day warriors as well. Far too many Americans can recite a movie quote believing it to be history or mourn a life of a movie actor taken too soon. Let’s not forget the unsung heroes; the real history makers. Let’s remember who and why this is a day of remembrance that will live in infamy…

Have a veteran you would like to remember? Tell us in the comment section so we can all salute them for their service.


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Comments (8)

  1. G-Man — thanks for sharing the bad news about Google. I’ve always avoided Google and I would not have noticed otherwise….
    My dad was a young sailor, only 17, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Everyone ran up on deck when the alarm sounded, and soon all the AA guns, and every rifle, pistol, and tommy gun, was shooting up at the dastardly attackers. His ship shot down a Japanese torpedo bomber and took partial credit for another. He spent the rest of the war in the Pacific, was shot at, nearly sunk, almost hit by a kamikaze — the works. He was in it to the end, including Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Even after the war was officially over, while waiting in camp to be shipped home, an “unsurrendered” Japanese infiltrator almost killed some men in his tent. A sleepless sailor and a .45 pistol put an end to that Japanese soldier, who “died for the Emperor.”
    The war had an indelible stamp on my Dad’s psyche. He would never buy a Japanese product. No cars — nothing. I have never and will never buy a Japanese vehicle.
    I don’t understand why most Americans today have such a fascination for such total bull&^%$@. My dad, and others of his generation, knew what was important in life. Seems like, today, almost nobody does.

  2. @ Cort (Comment #2). I will in deed explain. Most people, including the youth of America, bookmark a homepage in their favorite web browser. That homepage is the first thing they’ll see each and every time they open their web browser to get online. Some people set a news page to open first – such as: Yahoo, Fox, or CNN, etc. However, a larger percentage of people usually set their homepage to their favorite search provider’s website – such as: Google, Bing, or Ask, etc.

    Through research, companies have learned that searching a topic on the web is the number one reason a person initially goes on the web, followed by news as a close second. The companies that own major search providers such as and Microsoft’s are very aware of these facts. As such, they are also very aware of the role they play in advertising and its impact on the viewer.

    More importantly, Google and Bing intentionally do not advertise on their opening search page. They intentionally leave their homepage simple and clean for a reason – which is, so that anyone is able to quickly detect the slightest change and thus their attention is immediately drawn to that change.

    So, when a major American corporation chooses to celebrate something on their homepage designed in such a manner, it becomes very noticeable for a reason. Likewise, when they fail to commemorate a historical event, it becomes a controversial statement. intentionally failed to commemorate Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, yet they still chose to commemorate the death of Nelson Mandela which has been on their site for the past 2 days after his death.

    Unlike, Microsoft’s webpage currently displays a background commemorating the events of Pearl Harbor and therefore deserve your patronage over due to their patriotic dedication to our U.S. history.

    So to wrap this up, when our younger generation goes to, they just might be encouraged to learn more about the importance of “a date which will live in infamy”. But if they only use Google, they may get the impression if it’s not commemorated, it must not be that important any more.

  3. It has always been a sad part of our history that we lost so many brave young men and women in such a vile manner. Now the Japanese are an ally. But our country still needs to remain vigilent. No one knows where an enemy is lurking, planning, growing in stregnth and hatred for us. In my humble opinion our “leaders” are not up to the task we may be facing. We have mid-term elecions coming up. We need to be ready to vote many of them out of office, but only if can replace them with better ones. And most of all find a candidate who supports the Constitution, especially the Second Amendment. A name that comes to mind is Shumer, but knowing where he comes from that may not happen. Also be on guard for men like Soros and Bloomberg, who have the money to influence (buy) almost any election. If they back a candidate, we may need to vote against them. BUT VOTE!

  4. You are right on, with your comment between bing and google, but I felt that while true took away from what I believe that you were trying to convey.

    I had an uncle that survived Pearl Harbor 72 years ago today.

    I was at a DAV meeting earlier this morning where one of the vets there was in the
    Philipines during WWII and won the Bronze Star.

    I fear that we know so little of history within the last 100 years that we are doomed to repeat it. We need to have history that is glossed over or completely omitted returned to the history text books.

    May we stop for just a moment, face east, and say a prayer for those veterans that have pasted, that have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

  5. Those were the days when America’s military was allowed to kill and conquer our enemies then raise them up to no longer be a threat to us. Now we aren’t allowed to win nor kill or enemies and our politicians give money to our enemies to make them stronger.
    Ironically the generation that fought on two sides of the world far far away returned to raise the generation of shotheads infesting our state and federal Gov’ts. The same people are trying to turn us all into the kind of world their fathers fought to defeat.

  6. Like it or not, we can no longer deny how significant an impact modern technology affects our culture and how it shapes our future. Ceremonious symbology is important in order that our youth stay reminded of our struggles, courage, and sacrifices that made this country what it is today. That said, it’s simply time to bitch-slap and instead give the praise it deserves for daring to remain patriotic. To understand what I am talking about, go visit each site and compare what each chose to commemorate today. Then If you feel as strongly as I do, you will want to withhold your patronage from by using

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