December 20, 2016

Remembering Pearl Harbor

By The Old Sarge of Allsup

Most generations have an “I remember precisely where I was and what I was doing when it happened” moment.

For the millennial generation, it was the terrorist attack of 9/11. For me and other older baby boomers, it was the assassination of JFK. I was in a high school class, and I distinctly remember when our vice principal announced over the public address system that President Kennedy had been shot.

For the men and women of what newsman Tom Brokaw called the Greatest Generation, it was the moment on Dec. 7, 1941, when they first heard about Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Two hours later, thousands were dead and wounded, and the U.S. Pacific Fleet was decimated. The U.S. entered World War II the next day when it declared war on Japan.

Earlier this month, thousands of people gathered at Pearl Harbor with the few remaining survivors and bowed their heads to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the attack. President Barack Obama had a poignant message to them.

"Over 2,400 American patriots lost their lives in the attack on Pearl Harbor—military and civilian, men, women and children," Obama said in a statement. "Their sacrifice galvanized millions of GIs and Rosie the Riveters who answered the call to defend liberty at its moment of maximum peril. In the hours after the attack, President Roosevelt promised that 'the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.' Thanks to the heroism of a generation, we did."

Other wars and global conflicts have followed Pearl Harbor and the heroes of World War II. We at Allsup salute them.

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Written by

Dan Allsup