07 December 2009

Remember Pearl Harbor

On this day, December 7, 1941, two waves of Japanese planes bombed the United States of America; 183 planes hit Ford Island and 170 planes hit the naval base at Pearl Harbor, HI.
This great nation suffered the loss of a total of 2,350 people. Also, a total of 9 ships were sunk, and 21 were damaged.
We are reminded of the sacrifice 2,282 military persons and 68 civilians made that day, and the steadfast commitment each held to the Constitution, culture, and promise of America. In the same spirit, as we remember the horrific events of that day, we shall also hear the echo of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the day on which America lost a total of 2,976 people.

As committed professionals, it is our dutiful practice to study and profile such tactics like kamikazi operations employed by Japanese pilots - as we all face a similar ritual act of violence employed by the jihadist suicide bomber.


  1. It seems to me that actually most of the country does its best to forget both dates. To date I see no kind of national day to remember either, and very little reporting on any kind of memorial event.

  2. Grant,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I have noticed you commenting on many postings. Keep 'em coming...

    My experience has shown me ten-fold that American families remember. Our veterans remember, and they always will.

    I do not measure my experience by the amount or flow of reporting in print and/or on media news sources, nor by the proclamation of a national day; rather, I measure it by the faith, passion, and hard work of families of whom veterans are - in most ways - the leaders people look up to.

    It is just a small task of ours [in comparison to the deeds our veterans have done] to pass on the stories, but what I think is most important is that we share these stories with our families throughout generations. It is from our grandfathers, fathers and mothers, and kin and friends that we learn the most.

    Do you have a story or two? Blogging is a reporting-tool that reaches lots of folks.

  3. Thanks, but my concern isn't so much for the families; it's for the nation. For all of my differences with Foreign Policy's Shadow Govt. I have to agree that the nation doesn't seem to feel as though it's at war.

  4. Grant,

    Thanks for the clarification; I may have misinterpreted your comments to an extent.

    Your point reminds me of a blog posted this past August, 2009, by West Point graduate (2004), Tim Hsia, as the author of a NY Times Blog series entitled, "At War." You can read it here:

    What struck me most was his following comment: "...the length and nature of today’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq seem to suggest that very few Americans are sitting at the dinner table arguing over these protracted conflicts. Moreover, Americans seem to have a certain nonchalance and obliviousness concerning its future military requirements in Iraq, Afghanistan, and globally."

    Hsia recalls a class discussion he and his fellow cadets had while arguing whether or not the military is;
    (a) a circle within the circle of society,
    (b) a separate circle alongside society, or
    (c) separate and distinct from society but only sharing allegiance to the Constitution.

    Interesting points, however, Hsia gives no direct answer - as I myself do not think there is a clear-cut one. I think his comments pinpoint the issue America as a nation is dealing with; namely, civil-military relationship.

    Is this a cultural issue, or a sign of "psychological discomfort" as Hsia suggests? Are people tired of the length of war, or scared of the thought for long-term campaigns to combat terrorists? "Dinner table" discussions this evening may revolve around Tiger Woods rather than the steady advancement of Venezuela and Iran or the public relations tactics of al Qaeda - and both of its connection globally.

    A discussion on Tiger Woods is important for moral and ethical clarity, but "feeling at war" as a nation includes a feeling of obligation, of connection to duty and the passion for it. For example, the Roman army was extremely influential on the Roman society: it was powerful on and off the war-field and served as a balance of power politically as well. Could this be because families were invested (for lack of a better term); they were connected to their father's or son's duty?

    Hsia is concerned that "the country could be entering an era of persistent conflict, not because of the threats the U.S. faces, but rather because society has become inoculated to the concept of the ever-present war." He asks further, "Are Americans less averse to war as long as it means not me or my family?"

    This is reason to discuss further the point about the influence of families as I presented, and connect it to the questions posed by Hsia's instructor about the military's relationship to society: inner circle, separate circle, or distinct itself.

    Lets keep the "dinner table" discussion going, in hope that more join us with their thoughts, ideas, and analysis.

    Once again, thanks Grant.