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Pearl Harbor Day

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posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 03:28 PM
"Where are the ponies?" you ask. They have the day off.

Seventy years ago today, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked forces of the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor with devastating results.

Although there was much that led up to the attack, and a great deal of controversy and conspiracy theory surrounds what happened before, during and after, on this day I remember the 2,403 of my countrymen who died and 1,247 who were wounded.

This is a photograph taken from a Japanese plane taken shortly after the attack began:

While several different units of the U.S. Army and U.S Coast guard participated in active combat and took casualties on that day, the primary targets of the attack were the ships of the U.S. Navy.

As long ago as it was, in the minds of most Americans it is more the stuff of old war movies than reality, but as a sailor stationed at Pearl Harbor for four years, I was constantly reminded of the significance of that day and the terrible war that followed.

When our submarine left from and returned to the harbor, we would always pass within sight of the memorial. As one of the (lucky, because we were always last in and first out into the fresh air) who had line handling duty, I was able to see it each time we left and returned.

Although it was not expected or required (at least at that range), on those days, and later passing more closely on utility and passenger boats, I always made a point of saluting the memorial. Looking around at my fellow sailors in their dungarees, I always felt a sense that we were no different than the 1,177 Arizona crew members who died that day, and the 1,102 of them who remain entombed aboard the ship on which they served.

This is how it looked seventy years ago:

That is the sight of 1,177 of my fellow sailors, my fellow Americans, dying. And over a thousand more died that day as well.

In the ensuing war between the Allied powers and the Axis nations, tens of millions of our fellow human beings were brutally killed, and tens of millions more injured and scarred in both body and soul. Over twenty million people died in the Pacific War alone, and it saw some of the fiercest and deadliest battles of World War II.

Included among them were tens of thousands of my fellow sailors, many of whom died in service aboard the 52 submarines which were lost, or as the memorial at Subase characterizes it it, and which bears the names of their crew members, "Still On Patrol".

I thank God I was never involved in combat, but what I saw when I was stationed at Pearl Harbor, from the memorials to the ceremonies to personally seeing the pitted tracks of Japanese machine guns on the concrete tarmac at Ford Island, will always be with me.

In the four years I was there, I passed near but could never bring myself to go aboard and visit the memorial itself. Despite the many years which had passed before I ever joined the Navy, it still hit too close to home.

I took my avatar for the day from this picture:

I want it to show not just the memorial, but the ship itself. Although it, like all things, will eventually pass away and be forgotten, it still remains, and I want to remember it.

As an anime fan, I have had the privilege of learning more and more about the Japanese people, who I unconditionally respect, admire and love. I have learned more about how they feel about that day, what it was like to be Japanese during the time of the Empire, how there was indeed much resistance that we don't tend to hear about, that thousands of Japanese were arrested, tortured and killed for daring to protest against their government, and how, just like everyone touched by it, they were helpless victims of the insanity of war.

I bear them and no one any animosity or ill will. Though I never went aboard, I saw thousands of Japanese tourists visit the memorial and bow their heads.

I have no bitterness, no blame to assign, no finger to point.

I want only to remember, and I always will.

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 03:38 PM
reply to post by Majic

Excellent OP...

edit on 12/7/2011 by Mirthful Me because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 03:40 PM
Admirable and well-said.

Consider sharing it with the community.


posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 03:43 PM
Okay, I originally posted this in a staff-only forum, and we often chat about this or that there.

At the request of my fellow mods, I've moved the thread here, though I will admit feeling a bit embarrassed about it.

Anyway, that's the deal, and I hope no one will mind.

P.S. We tend to be more relaxed about source attribution behind the scenes (since posts there aren't publicly viewable), so sources aren't given in the OP, but I grabbed the photos from the related Wikipedia pages, and wish to attribute them here.

Wikipedia: Attack on Pearl Harbor

Wikipedia: USS Arizona Memorial

edit on 12/7/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 03:57 PM
We Will Always Remember: The Alamo, The Maine, The Lusitania, Pearl Harbor, 9/11

Lets not forget the USS Utah on the other side of Ford Island.

edit on 7-12-2011 by camaro68ss because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 03:57 PM
reply to post by Majic

Public post, Majic. Public.

The memorial has a profound effect on most everyone that visits. Loudly dressed tourists in aloha shirts (me) reduced to absolute reverential silence, as I watched little bubbles of oil drift up from the wreck below. My father has a cousin resting within the ship.

The last time I was there, I had the honor of sharing the time with a group of survivors from both the Arizona, and a few from the USS West Virginia. I can't begin to describe what it means to listen to them share remembrances of that day. The emotion is heart wrenching for someone fifty or more years removed, how much more profound for those few, and fewer every year, who remain who lived that day?

What 911 is for our generation? Pearl Harbour was for my dad and mom's generation. I don't think we can really even comprehend, save in the abstract, what that day means to them... As a direct result of that day, a goodly portion of the world burned. For good, or for ill, the world irrevocably changed.

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 04:09 PM
I have an interesting story about visiting the Arizona.

My wife and I went to Hawaii 10 years back and when we got to Honolulu, signed up for the trip to the naval base and a tour of the Arizona memorial. After touring the excellent museum, they put us on a small boat to board the memorial. As soon as I got on the memorial, I began filming the place with my Ricoh (Japanese) camcorder which immediately started to make this horrible loud grinding noise and then seized up.

The Chief of the watch heard this and came over, looked at the camera and said.. "That figures, happens a lot here". The camera never worked again after this and was deemed un-repairable.

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 04:21 PM
Today is a remembrance day, History does repeat itself. My daughter was born today. She may only be 9yrs old, but knows well of the sacrifices of our Countrymen/women before us.

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 04:29 PM
I was wondering where all the posts about pearl harbour were today. This is a great thread and personal story also, thanks for posting it.

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 06:41 PM
Forgotten Remembrance

reply to post by camaro68ss

Alas, the Utah is much harder to visit, and requires military sponsorship for civilians to access. Since the Arizona got hit so hard, and serves as both a memorial and a tomb, it gets the lion's share of attention.

I will admit I didn't even know about the Utah Memorial until you pointed it out. When I attended instructor training school at Ford Island (which was the only time I got to check the place out), we rode over by boat and our classes were in a big building on the southern side of the island, next to Battleship Row.

Riding that boat was the closest I came to the Arizona Memorial. The pier where it tied up was fairly close to the memorial, close enough to see individual people pretty clearly.

On lunch breaks, aside from eating lunch, I took some time to walk around and see what I could see, and although I suppose I could have walked up to the north side of the island (about a mile, I think), our schedule was pretty tight and I was never sure if it would be okay for me to poke around too far from the classroom. There were some HUGE hangars to the northeast of where I was, but they were hundreds of yards away, and I didn't want to get in trouble.

Some of the guys teaching classes said you could see some patched up areas on the training building where it had been hit, but I never saw them myself (I don't think they were that obvious). And actually, if you weren't looking for them, the machinegun tracks were easy to overlook as well. There were quite a few of them near the training building, because we were right next to Battleship Row, so I got to check those out.

Pretty much surrounding the north side of the training building were huge concrete pads where they used to park aircraft. The bullet holes were more like little divots in the concrete, typically about an inch or two long, quite a few feet apart and not very deep. Easy to miss, but if you lined them up (they tended to run north/south) they were quite obvious, and a little eerie.

I could tell, for example, that the tracks I was looking at came from wing-mounted guns, because of the spacing between them. I didn't see any bomb craters that I can recall, but a bomb supposedly bounced off the training building without exploding.

But I digress. The Navy hasn't made the Utah Memorial very easy to get to, and the Arizona Memorial is open to the public, so the Utah Memorial is somewhat neglected. However, I guess about ten years ago they built a bridge to the island and have been doing some development there, so maybe with that, the Utah might get more attention.

In any case, it's easy to think what happened wasn't really real, just an old story. But seeing where it happened firsthand drove home the fact that it really did happen, and it really was horrible.

I remember Pearl Harbor on its anniversary, but it was just one of many battles, and far from the bloodiest of them.

I do hope we will remember the lessons of that war, though, because repeating and relearning them would be a terrible, terrible price to pay.

I wish I could believe we won't pay it anyway.

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 06:54 PM
Captain Joyce Riley of the Power Hour had a document destroyer for the us departement of defence
what he had to say about the real events at Pearl Harbour will spin your heads

I'll link to the interview when I get the email blast tommorow with the pod cast link in it

the truth will blow you away it is so far beyond even what the conspiracies have been about

you can't see the US or the world in the same light after you here what this man has to say

one of things said was they laid those ships out side by each in a way that is only done when scrapping hulks which most of the battleships in the harbour were- ww1 hulks
they had a drunkin party for the 18 year olds the night before KNOWING the attack was coming

the ships were scuttle charged
the seal teams of the day were prevented from resquing men because they would have bore whitness to this

edit to add
it wasn't a battle
it was a slaughter just like 911
it was an inside job

Ill post the pod cast like I said so you all can hear for your selves

thats just a fraction of what was said the rest gets more and more horrendous..far beyond the "they broke the code" story

edit on 7-12-2011 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-12-2011 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

edit on 7-12-2011 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 07:44 PM
An Open Conspiracy

reply to post by Danbones

Well this is ATS, after all, so if we didn't have conspiracy theories, I wouldn't know what to think.

My grandfather was very outspoken on the matter and went to his grave convinced President Roosevelt knew all about the upcoming attack. But my grandfather wasn't directly involved, and our family has never had a reputation for being quiet or conventional when it comes to politics, or anything else, for that matter.

From an overall perspective, the U.S. oil embargo and direct military support of China against the Japanese invasion were de facto declarations of war by the U.S., led to the replacement of Prime Minister Konoe with General Tojo, and forced Japan to choose between war with the U.S. or effectively surrendering the Empire.

I don't think most Americans realize why Japan attacked the U.S. as they did. The general narrative of American thought often assumes the attack was completely out of the blue, unprovoked and a lot of other utter nonsense.

The U.S. government knew damn well what was going on in Japan, knew there was no way the Japanese were going to willingly withdraw from China, on which they had spent so much blood and treasure, that they didn't look kindly upon being attacked by the Flying Tigers and U.S. weapons, and that the oil embargo (the Japanese Empire received about 80% of its oil from the U.S. up to that point) would force their hand.

Ostensibly, the U.S. strategy was to force Japan to the bargaining table, but the terms for that -- complete withdrawal from China -- were unacceptable to the Empire. There was simply no way they could lose face and allow themselves to be bullied like that. It was not in the Japanese character, then or now, to tolerate such a disgrace.

So they chose to fight, and knew that to have any chance of winning, they needed to take out as much of the U.S. Pacific Fleet as quickly as possible, or face likely defeat. So they took their best shot, and scored -- except the aircraft carriers weren't there, and they were the real prize the Japanese strategists sought.

Many of them knew already, even then, that by missing the carriers, the war might already be lost. Although the authenticity of Admiral Yamamoto's "sleeping giant" quote is dubious, his documented statements from the time indicate he knew full well what was coming, and he proved to be right.

So far, I remain somewhat neutral about the various conspiracy theories, but am fairly sure a lot more was known than has been officially disclosed. While all the hand-waving, excuse-making and rationalizations for how things happened may well be the work of people who didn't know better just trying to cover their butts, not all the whitewash seems so innocent or cleanly motivated.

For anyone who may wonder, as with 9/11 or any tragic event, I don't think there is anything at all disrespectful about examining, questioning, challenging or theorizing about the Pearl Harbor attack. In fact, I think it is in many ways the ultimate tribute.

Because it not only means remembering those who were lost, but not giving up on why they were lost without a fight.

Far better that than to forget in the name of remembrance.

P.S. And please do link the podcast when you can. As always, the more information, the better.

edit on 12/7/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 7 2011 @ 09:36 PM
reply to post by Majic

Im bringing this up not to disparage the honest heroes
JR had this guest on because its quite something what he
has to say...

here are the links to the pod cast
I hope you will give it a listen M

it really illustrates there were a lot of wasted heroes that day and why
but we know we are being played

and again this Is Captain Joyce Riley's show she was a flite nurse in the gulf war /1207112.mp3 /1207113.mp3
edit on 7-12-2011 by Danbones because: (no reason given)


From an overall perspective, the U.S. oil embargo and direct military support of China against the Japanese invasion were de facto declarations of war by the U.S., led to the replacement of Prime Minister Konoe with General Tojo, and forced Japan to choose between war with the U.S. or effectively surrendering the Empire.

yes the guest goes into that in detail
IT was news to me that it was so much more then just that they knew a bit ahead of times

edit on 7-12-2011 by Danbones because: PS

posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 01:21 AM
Douglas Dietrich on the Power Hour: A Day Of Infamy

I want to mention that I just finished listening to the 2nd and 3rd hours of today's Power Hour, the syndicated radio show that Danbones mentioned above, with host Joyce Riley and guest Douglas Dietrich.

Mr. Dietrich claims that as a DoD employee at the Western Defense Command Center at the Presidio in San Francisco, he was responsible for the destruction of massive amounts of historical documents, including documents for which he did not have an appropriate security clearance.

According to him, he read many of the documents and took copious notes. During the interview, he seemed to be reading from prepared texts, but also seemed to know a great deal extemporaneously when asked specific questions.

As an avowed skeptic, I prefer to suspend judgment and can't speak to the veracity of his assertions regarding the sources of his information, but -- as he invited listeners to do -- did do a lot of googling while he spoke, and there's a significant amount of corroboration for his claims.

I will say I harbor a suspicion that a bit too much stuff seemed to match a lot of Wikipedia pages in terms of facts, if not direct quotation. But most of those facts do match up with other sources.

Putting that aside, I was unable to confirm his claim that USS Utah had been disguised to look like an aircraft carrier, nor that Japanese pilots identified it as a decoy.

According to the rather detailed Wikipedia page on the ship and some other articles I googled, it had been serving as a gunnery training and target vessel for about ten years at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, and was covered with thick planks to minimize damage from training bombs. Some theorize the planks may have made the Utah look like a carrier from the air, but I've seen no evidence to suggest a deliberate disguise, and photographs of the ship on the day of the attack don't show it looking anything like an aircraft carrier.

Mr. Dietrich's claim regarding the Utah being deemed a "decoy" by Japanese pilots, causing them to call off a planned third wave of attacks, is dubious. Admiral Nagumo's momentous decision to withdraw after the second wave was based on several factors, not just one, and included the very real risk of significant loss of aircraft attacking a now alerted Pearl Harbor with air defenses active and no element of surprise, losing returning planes unable to land in darkness, and exposing his fleet to a potential counterattack by U.S. aircraft carriers and land-based bombers.

Aside from those issues which jumped out at me, Mr. Dietrich's accounts seem to correlate well with other sources. While I can't help but wonder if he got more of his information off Wikipedia than secret government documents in the Presidio, what he describes nonetheless seems mostly based on facts that can be independently confirmed. His narratives call attention to many relatively arcane aspects of the events surrounding the Pearl Harbor attack and the circumstances surrounding WWII in general, and are quite thought-provoking in any case.

Granted, the interview is two hours long, and that's a lot of listening. But I'm glad I did, consider myself much better educated regarding many little-known facts about that day and the context in which it occurred, and can recommend it to anyone with the time and inclination lend it an ear.

Here's more information on the shows in question:

The Power Hour: Week of DECEMBER 5 - DECEMBER 9, 2011

December 07, 2011 (hour 2) - Guest Douglas Dietrich (MP3 Audio, 6.73 MB)
December 07, 2011 (hour 3) - Guest Douglas Dietrich (MP3 Audio, 6.73 MB)

At the end of hour 3, Joyce Riley urges listeners to spread the word, pass these shows around and provides them freely on the Power Hour site. The shows incorporate their own source attribution and they do contain ads (which she thoughtfully announces the length of before the breaks), so I doubt there are any reasonable copyright concerns with respect to downloading them.

edit on 12/8/2011 by Majic because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 01:07 PM
Thanks Majic
yes I am really glad you took the time and I respect your opinion re fact checking

I think this is important and I think that is exactly why ATS is the best place to discuss things like this.

A main point is the way he details the laws used to incarcerate second Japanese decended AMERICAN citizens was the same law used to take Tesla's citizenship away and confiscate all his science.

Obama can veto S 1867 because he already has the tools

This I feel is the critical current point

Again Thanks Majic
for all the effort you have put into vetting this information and for the open mind with which you have done so.
edit on 8-12-2011 by Danbones because: grammer spellin added point re obama and the law he already has to work with

edit on 8-12-2011 by Danbones because: spelling aaargggh! lol

PS Captain Riley distributes these pod casts by email free and encourages the distribution of the truth which is why I consider her one of the best radio shows on the net...
edit on 8-12-2011 by Danbones because: PS re copyright

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