Anniversary of Pearl Harbor

by Beverly Baker

The Natural Beauty of Hawaii – volcanic mountains, lush vegetation, and crystal water – should be Pearl Harbor’s main attraction, and it would be, if not for December 7, 1941.

Instead, the island of Oahu’s stunning scenery has become merely the backdrop for the USS Arizona Memorial, a hallowed historic site that reminds us that 2,390 Americans died on a balmy morning 70 years ago when Japan attacked seven military sites in and around the harbor.

Twenty-one ships were sunk or damaged, including the battleship Arizona.  At 8:06 a.m., a 1,760-pound bomb slammed into the Arizona’s forward decks and ignited 500 tons of explosives in the powder magazine.  She sank in nine minutes and burned for tw2o days.  A total of 1,177 men died on board, the greatest death toll ever on a US warship.  Only 229 bodies were recovered.  The rest remain entombed in the wreckage.

The bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 signaled the beginning of World War II for America.  It claimed the lives of 2,400 civilian and service personnel.  The soldiers and sailors who survived the attack continued to defend America for the duration of the war.  Death and illness have trimmed the ranks.  Although their numbers dwindle with each passing year, their messages of sacrifice and bravery are timeless.

December 7th marks the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Please recognize this day and event and the sacrifices of its veterans with a moment of silence at 8:06 that morning.