Tag Archive | "December 7 1941"

An Invitation to History

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On December 7, 2010 I — a veteran of World War II — will host a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Service at the VFW Post 2445 in Maple Shade, New Jersey; the event will begin at 11:00 AM, Eastern Standard Time.  This is an open invitation to all who wish to attend: veterans, families of veterans, and students both young and old who would like to experience genuine accounts of what transpired as that fateful conflict erupted and as it waged on for four long years.


The program will begin promptly with the posting of the colors of our proud American flag, and the Pledge of Allegiance.  Sung by the Steinhauer School choir, the National Anthem will follow.


After our Anthem, the host will present a history lesson, centering upon the events that President Franklin D. Roosevelt termed, “A day that will live in infamy.”  That day was December 7, 1941.  On that fateful day, 360 Japanese aircraft took off from aircraft carriers in the Pacific Ocean.  They then launched a sudden but well-planned attack upon the U.S. Pacific fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, leaving most of our ships destroyed and many, many casualties. While peace negotiations were being conducted in Washington, DC, this sneak attack plunged America into World War II.


The Steinhauer School students and other attendees will then hear a recorded, unadulterated speech by President Roosevelt, as he had addressed Congress and the nation-at-large that a state of war existed between the Empire of Japan and the United States of America.


The program will then continue with oratory from a Maple Shade Township representative and others who well recall Pearl Harbor Day.  These remembrances will be followed by The Navy Hymn, including a rifle salute and Taps to honor those who had served in our armed forces, including our fallen soldiers.




The ceremony will end with the Steinhauer choir singing America the Beautiful, and will conclude with a closing speech by the host.


For the past ten years, I have conducted this ceremony in the hope that the children of Maple Shade will hear the unvarnished truth about this war as we move ever further into the world of “political correctness.”


History is our legacy from the past.  It has shaped the society that we have become today, and the tenets that we pass on to future generations.  America’s culture and history are both irreplaceable sources of inspiration and indeed, life.  Remembrance is a good thing, for sacrifice without remembrance is meaningless.

A Pearl Harbor Day Apology

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Pearl Harbor Day

The island of Oahu, in Hawaii’s archipelago, is a paradise of flowering trees, warm ocean breezes, and pristine beaches.  But its bay, Pearl Harbor, is testimony to one of the blackest and yet most commemorated days in American History.  On December 7, 1941, the harbor, which was home to our naval vessels and military personnel, was destroyed.  Thus were we plunged into the four-year international conflict known as World War II that claimed the lives of many American soldiers.  Christened “a date which will live in infamy” by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Pearl Harbor Day was established to honor those brave souls, our military, who perished in the holocaust in Oahu’s bay.

 

More than sixty-seven years have passed since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and each year, it seems that our nation’s collective memory of this momentous event grows ever dimmer.  There are, however, a few of us who refuse to let this commemorative day and its meaning die.

 

Our disregard of Pearl Harbor Day is indicative of the state of our country.  We have become a nation of greedy people, putting our needs first and God and country second; a nation that allows political leaders to sell their votes to the highest bidder concerning issues that effect its citizens, without contemplation or the consent of those citizens.

 

Today we live in troubled times rife with economic woes, high rates of unemployment, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a raging national heath care debate. We are barraged by media hype to the point where the average citizen is overwhelmed by the critical choices that he or she must make, to the point where many remain numb and impotent to bring about positive change.  The pioneer spirit in America is on the ropes and struggling to survive.

 

The leadership needed to take us out of troubled waters is non-existent.  As American citizens, we must take up the reins and restore our nation to its glorious past.  Where are the Washingtons, the Jeffersons, and the Lincolns of our time?  Where are the Jack and Bobby Kennedys and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s?   Our society is steeped in the mindset of “Let somebody else take care of it,” but “somebody else” never does it.  So we sit back in silence as our nation’s mores are challenged and stomped upon.

 

On this Pearl Harbor Day, 2009, I would like to offer an apology to the men and women who gave their lives and are still entombed in the USS Arizona in the deceptively calm waters off Oahu, and in the U.S. military cemeteries on native and foreign soil.  I apologize to those who died in the jungles, on the beaches, and in the deep waters of the Pacific that marked the sacrifices they made in helping to free Europe from a monster and protecting the freedom and safety of Americans. 

 

Please forgive us for not taking care of the country for which you died.

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