Sunday, December 7, 2014

Civil War Sunday - The Last Nine Standing

(Civil War Sunday will return next week)

This December 7, there are nine of them left.  Four of them will be in Oahu today for the last official gathering of the USS Arizona Reunion Association.

Our local newspaper had pictures of each and a brief description of his memory of December 7, 1941.

The faces are lined with age.  They are in their 90's, for the most part.  In not too many more years, the last one will be gone.  Even their website is in danger of shutting down.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, in what would later become the state of Hawaii, causing the United States to enter World War II.

Perhaps the most famous ship to have been lost, the USS Arizona lies just a few feet beneath the water, and it is now a national monument - a must see for anyone visiting Hawaii.

These nine men are the last nine survivors of the Arizona.

Without remembering our history, we would be lost.

So I was curious to find this little historical tidbit while reading about Pearl Harbor today:  Husband E. Kimmel was the  Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet on the day of the attack.  He was wounded during the attack by a stray billet.  Then, shortly after the attack, he was relieved of his command, and, to this day, there is a debate regarding whether he should have been relieved of command.

Kimmel's father was a veteran of the Confederate military.  But, on December 7, 1941, that did not matter.

It was also true that the bloodiest day in U.S. Naval history prior to Pearl Harbor was during the Civil War.

Why is it important to remember Pearl Harbor?  Many reasons - this article lists only a few (in one particular point of view. His opinions may or may not reflect mine.)

In my opinion, it is just as important to remember our Civil War, even though it was fought 150 years ago.  When I was born in 1952, only a handful of Civil War veterans were left alive, but it made an impact on me nevertheless.  We are at about the same point with the veterans of World War II.

Without these two wars, our country would be a different place to live.  Our very lives would be different.

They are part of why we are the way we are, for good and for bad.

No matter what country you live in, dear reader, please take a moment and reflect on your personal history.  And hope that, one day, our world can finally achieve peace.

8 comments:

  1. I hope that one day we can experience peace as well. It seems nearly impossible, though, human nature being what it is. It seems like such a waste, all these wars and conflicts. I just don't understand.

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  2. Our local Veteran's groups had a memorial today that was on the local news. Wish I had known about it yesterday, as I would've headed there to see it in person.

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  3. Good post. I wrote about Pearl Harbor today too.

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  4. My father was a Veteran. I believe he would have enjoyed this article. I enjoyed it and found your viewpoint insightful as well. I agree we need to acknowledge all places and events our Veterans served.

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  5. I pray for peace, but don't expect it. When I think of the different conflicts all over the world right now, I could cry. Each is just as important, and will have just as much impact on the resident's lives and those America and England commemorate. Yes, the world would be different without war, but would it be better?

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  6. I hate violence /fighting war is every where its horrid bombs go off shootings i wish we just had peace every where or is that just too hard
    Dannie x

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  7. I don't think there will ever be total peace in the world. There is always a war or protest going on somewhere. Yes, I think the world would be far better without war, but I am sure that there would still be consequences.

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  8. It is good to remember and so sad at the same time - Peace and Joy on Earth is our goal - well it would be a great unanimous goal, right?

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