To encourage and fortify relationships between military service members, veterans, their families, their friends, and their Country; to nurture the path of communication for everyone, ensuring that no one is alone or left behind; and proving that we have not, are not, and will never forget the nobility of their sacrifices.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

As a school child I remember coming home and asking my Mother where she was on December 7, 1941. She wasn't born until 1944, so gave me one of her I-am-not-that-old looks before she told me of a family vacation. When she was 13 years old her father took her family on an ocean cruise to Hawaii.

As the teenagers gravitated towards one another she and her two sisters became friends with a boy. (I do not remember his name.)  My Mother's family accompanied the boy and his family to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. It was while they stood over the USS Arizona, the boy looked at my Mother in a way she would never forget and said, "My grandfather is still down there. I wish I could have met him."

In total there were 2,117 Sailors and Marines killed in action or who died of their wounds, while 779 were wounded.  A sum of 215 Soldiers were killed in action or died of their wounds, with 360 wounded. 

Ultimately 15 Medals of Honor, 51 Navy Crosses, 53 Silver Crosses, 4 Navy and Marine Corps Medals, 1 Distinguished Flying Cross, 4 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1 Distinguished Service Medal, and 3 Bronze Stars were awarded to American servicemen who fought at Pearl Harbor. It should be noted that not all of those who fought were trained to fight. An African-American cook by the name of Dorie Miller who served aboard the West Virginia took over an unattended anti-aircraft gun on which he held no training. His actions made him the first African-American to be awarded the Navy Cross. 

Hero's are survivors of circumstance. Each and every man and woman who resided at Pearl Harbor on this tragic day are Hero's. Some Hero's survive to tell their stories. Other Hero's remain only in our hearts and memories. Honor the sacrifices of the fallen and their loved ones by lowering your Flag to half-mast. Find an event near you Honoring those who fought at Pearl Harbor. Shake a survivor's hand. 

No comments: