A Nurse with a Gun

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pearl Harbor

I served in the US Navy. I trained with other men to keep my ship afloat, to extinquish fires and protect ordnance, all the while keeping my ship in the fight while under attack. I trained for much that I never experienced, but I have been trapped aboard a burning ship at sea, and know a smidgen of the horror these men experienced.
The men who died on December 7, 1941 were not expecting to die that day. They were men like you and me. They had hopes, dreams, aspirations. They lost everything they had on that day. Some felt seawater fill their lungs on their last gasp, knowing well ahead of time they would die trapped like rats in a sewer. Others bled out slowly or were disemboweled. Still others were mercifully, quickly incinerated and blown apart. All were unsuspecting and unwilling men who went to their deaths for a purpose they did not believe in. They died because Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, not because they were in some great campaign themselves.

The greatness of our country then was that our country refused to allow these men to die in vain. We took up their cause, made their sacrifice count. Remember Pearl Harbor became a rallying cry for a generation. That was my country. I miss her.

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