Monday, 12/07/09, Public Square

December 7, 1941 — a day that will live in infamy.  The attack, conducted by the Japanese Navy against the United States’ Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, sank four U.S. Navy battleships (two of which were raised and returned to service later in the war) and damaged four more. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruises, three destroyers, and one minelayer, destroyed 188 aircraft, and caused personnel losses of 2,402 killed and 1,282 wounded.  The attack consisted of two aerial attack waves totaling 353 aircraft, launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers, and was called ‘Hawaii Operation Z’ by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters.  Japanese losses were minimal, at 29 aircraft and five midget submarines, with 65 servicemen killed or wounded.

War between Japan and the United States had been a possibility each nation had been aware of (and developed contingency plans for) since the 1920s, though tensions did not begin to grow seriously until Japan’s 1931 invasion of Manchuria. Over the next decade, Japan continued to expand into China, leading to all out war in 1937.  The transfer of the U.S. Pacific Fleet from its previous base in San Diego to its new base in Pearl Harbor was seen by the Japanese military as the U.S. readying itself for a potential conflict between the two countries.

While the attack ultimately took place before a formal declaration of war by Japan, Admiral Yamamoto originally stipulated the attack should not commence until thirty minutes after Japan had informed the United States he considered the peace negotiations at an end. In this way, the Japanese tried both to uphold the conventions of war as well as achieving surprise. Despite these intentions, the attack had already begun when the 5,000-word notification was delivered.  The declaration of war was printed in the front page of Japan’s newspapers in the evening edition on December 8.

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33 Comments

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33 responses to “Monday, 12/07/09, Public Square

  1. My Dad served in this war. He talked about it very little. When he did talk of those times it was about the friends he served with, the times they shared that had nothing to do with war other than that’s how they ended up together. Even if you asked direct questions he would get the saddest look you’ve ever seen and kindly tell you what had to be done was done and now was a better place. I knew there were atrocities he lived the rest of his life trying to forget.

    My Mom was raised during this same time frame and knew all about rationing, all about what was important and what were just things not so important as people, love, kindness and sharing.

    I think I was blessed to have these parents who shared true values with me!

  2. Today is my friend Gaye’s birthday. We’re going shopping and goofing and whatever! See ya a bit later!

  3. My dad was too young to serve during WWII, much to his regret. My mother, who was four years older, obviously didn’t serve, either, but had a brother who did, as a Navy medic assigned to the USMC in the South Pacific.

    He, also, would not take any questions about his service, nor talk about it in any way. I am aware he received a number of decorations that one does not get “just because” (Silver Star, e.g.), which were not displayed in any way. The only clue I have about what happened in any way was that he was the sole survivor of a company which took part in a battle on one of the islands, which came out one evening during a discussion at his place after much consumption of alcohol. Apparently, he survived by immersing himself in a pond which was used by the Japanese for sewage containment for 24 hours, breathing through a reed while submerged.

    He has been dead for several years, so there is no way to find any more out from him. My cousins who were his offspring know less than I, much to their frustration.

  4. tosmarttobegop

    It is one of those stories that give meaning to something else.

    My Uncle served and was in Europe, one day the mail man delivered a package from him with a letter.
    It was a record and the letter said:

    “Mom. Dad and sis, I am hopeful that I will be home for Christmas (This has been such a powerful story in the family I am feeling my eye welling up). But fate does not let that be the case, please play this at 8 A.M. on Christmas morning and think of me. As I will be thinking of you all at the same time.
    Love your son and brother Ray.”.

    This was the record:

    He do not make it home for Christmas he did shortly afterwards, but on Christmas morning.
    Grandpa, Grandma and my mother gathered around the record play and at 8 A.M. they played it and thought of Uncle Ray.

  5. tosmarttobegop

    It was Bing Crosby’s “I’ll be home for Christmas” but this was the only one I found on youtube.

  6. tosmarttobegop

    I watched an interview with the creator of a Documentary called “The war against kids”.
    The subject matter is how we are turning our schools into prison camps and armed outposts.

    The creator made the statement that the idea of schools comes from the concept of training children to be better soldiers. To obey orders without question and not use their reasoning and logic.

    Then with the industrialization of the nation to train them to function in the intensely boring atmosphere of the work place.

    That schools are meant to dehumanize children into mindless workers.

    Barred wire and armed guards with surveillance cameras to catch anyone who is not following orders and
    expressing individualism.

    My guess is this person really hated going to school!

  7. lilacluvr

    Someone on the Opinion Line stated that funding for public education has been a failure and we should charge people tuitition for their kids to go to school (all grades). If parents cannot afford the tuition then the kids do not go to school.

    WTF????

    Education is the best answer to solve the country’s problems – isn’t it?

    And this fool thinks that only the ‘real’ Americans that can afford the tuition should be allowed to have their kids attend school.

    • lilacluvr

      But I do think we need to ‘bump up’ our schools and start teaching what is necessary for our country’s future. I am tired of all these kids being taught how to have good self esteem but still be ignorant about the basics of science, math, history and geography.

      What we have now is an abundance of high self esteemed kids who don’t have a clue as to where the 50 states are located , who the Founding Fathers were or who the major global leaders are.

      But, I’m sure they could spout off the entire history of American Idol winners…

  8. I received this in an email today. Do you think this could be something actually happening? I know there are many who are hurting, broke… Desperate people are capable of desperate acts. So, for what it’s worth —

    People are becoming more and more cruel daily. This is just the beginning of pangs of distress. With the decline in economy and job losses, we can expect anything. Just can’t be too careful these days.

    If you are driving at night and eggs are thrown at your windshield, do not operate the wiper and spray or water because eggs mixed with water become milky and block your vision up to 92.5% so you are forced to stop at the roadside and become a victim of robbers.

    This is a new technique used by robbers.

    Please inform your family and friends.

  9. Someone could do an experiment and see if the egg problem is true. Maybe the next time I am ready to wash my car.

  10. My mother’s older brother was First lieutenant in the Army and his unit was on the front lines when invading Germany. The first forth of July that he was back in the states he was jumping so badly at all firecrackers, that he eventually retreated to far out in the country to escape that misery. He died fairly young as a result of alcoholism.

    I think it is real interesting that PTSD does not qualify one for a Purple Heart. The arguments are the criteria are subjective – compared to a gun shot wound. But, can there be any doubt that the injuries are there? And often, in the past for sure, present for a lifetime.

  11. Or, we could just heed the warning and remember the advice IF eggs are thrown at our windshield. 🙂

  12. It would be more than difficult to go through war and not be affected, don’t you think? In fact, if you weren’t affected wouldn’t that indicate something too?

    • tosmarttobegop

      I won’t go into the long story, but the day I lifted the body of a sixty seven y.o. man out of his truck.
      After he had taken a revolver and shot himself in the head. He had terminal cancer and had reach the end of his ability to live with it.

      There was blood and brain matter covering the passenger side, it was the first time I had actually seen a freshly dead human being. Little alone picked one up and held them long enough to put him in the ambulance.

      The Chief had caught a ride to the scene and told me he wanted my patrol car so I walked home.
      Halfway home it hit me like a lightening bolt and caused me duress. I was not shocked or moved by the sight. I was not saddened by the man’s plight or his tragic death. That is what bothered me, the fact that with all the blood and brain matter and the sight. The fact that I had picked up his blood body and carried it to the ambulance. Did not cause me to feel anything, I had no reaction what so ever and that bothered me.

  13. The above reminds me, that a longitudinal study was done at the Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City – they followed the survivors of the Murrah Building Bombing. Over time women’s PTSD defaulted to Major Depression in most cases, whereas men’s PTSD defaulted into alcoholism in most cases.

  14. Well, there are people who just aren’t affected by war and I am not sure they have found the discriminating factors that account for that. The potential for PTSD is enhanced when it is other humans accounting for the trauma, over weather, or other “acts of God.”

  15. I would think to not be affected would indicate some lack of emotions that wouldn’t point to stable mental health.

  16. I think I posted on this blog about a identical twin study where the participants were discordent for combat experience – one had been in Viet Nam and one hadn’t. What they found that accounted for whether on not men had PTSD was the size of their hippocampus – a brain structure associated with memory and processing emotion. Men with smaller sized hippocampus were more vulnerable to PTSD as a result of combat experience.

    There is a lot left to learn. One thing I love about my job is that there are always an abundance of good questions out there. I am not anticipating that we will run out of those in my lifetime.

  17. lilacluvr

    I remember listening to alot of WW II vets in the nursing homes my husband and I have managed over the years and I found one common denominator – the more intense the emotion, the more they did not want to talk about their war experiences.

    And I knew of several WWII vets who were outraged and enraged whenever politicians would wave the flag and show off their war wounds just to get votes.

    That action would bring alot of old WWII vets out of their chairs yelling – and some would just hang their heads and I could see tears welling up in their eyes.

    Some of these vets say they were simply ‘doing their job for their country’ and don’t want any medals or any other fanfare. But, yet, we have some vets who ride that gravy train for years, and years, and years.

    What makes the difference between these two personalities?

  18. When I was going to college, I had a friend who had been a marine in WWII. He had a daughter who was also a friend. The daughter asked him about his WWII experiences one day when it occurred to her that her father had killed people in the war. He said he would tell her about it once and that was it. I guess he was fighting the Japanese in the pacific – one time he had to hide under the bodies of his friends to stay alive when he was pinned down on a beach in the Pacific.

    It is just hard to imagine what that would be like…

    • lilacluvr

      I know what you mean. Those of us who have never had to deal with those situations will never fully understand – IMHO.

      It must be an instinctive survival mode that kicks in that point – wouldn’t you think?

  19. lilacluvr

    I wonder how much influence the fact that ever since Vietnam, the public has had the opportunity to watch an actual war taking place?

    I remember in my history classes that as we discussed the various wars, it all seemed so remote and distant. But the Vietnam War was on television nightly and it was ‘in our faces’.

    Have we become accustomed to watching war on television, so it doesn’t seem like a big deal to those who are not on the front lines in person – in the real danger of being killed or wounded?

    And is that why PTSD is looked down on – as some sort of weakness that certain people just wasn’t tough enough?

  20. “And is that why PTSD is looked down on – as some sort of weakness that certain people just wasn’t tough enough.”

    I think that is a succient statement of the military’s unofficial position. But, having said that, they spend a lot of money on Vets who have PTSD. With Vets having 5 or more deployments to the current wars, we will no doubt be racking up PTSD treatment costs that will not go away anytime soon.

  21. “…5 or more deployments to the current wars, we will no doubt be racking up PTSD treatment costs that will not go away anytime soon.”

    So many lives that will altered. And isn’t there potential for a domino affect on families, friends, coworkers…?

    I just can’t see wars ever being the answer!

  22. tosmarttobegop

    About a month ago I encountered a man, he had overheard me talking to the father of one of my son’s friends. We talked for a bit outside and he told me that he too had been in the 82ND in Vietnam . One thing he told me to do with my son was to make him get treatment for PTSD. To get copies of his records so if the day comes that my son needs help and the Army mysteriously loses them.

    That when he got back in to the U.S. there was no help and to ask for it meant you were out-ed like you were gay. He was so full of undefined rage and his life was so effected that his marriages fell a part.
    He could not keep a job and would fight the Police any time they would confront him.

    He stressed it was important that my son not fall into the same trap.

  23. tosmarttobegop

    Oh I got my Christmas card from Todd Tiahrt today, how about you?
    LOL its the surest sign he does not read my e-mails if he had a Christmas card is the last thing he would send me!

    • lilacluvr

      Maybe the distntinguished Mr.Tiarht has outsourced his public relations staff to Pakistan or India?

      But, if I were you, I would frame that card as quite possibly the last Christmas card Tiarht sends out as an elected Kansas politician?

  24. “…as quite possibly the last Christmas card Tiarht sends out as an elected Kansas politician?”

    Wouldn’t that be great? We can only hope…

    • lilacluvr

      I plan to do more than just hope – I turned myself into a Republican for one reason, and one reason only, to vote against Tiarht in the primary.

      And from my reading other blogging sites, I am not the only one doing that. There are alot of anti-Tiarht people out there.

      I’ve often wondered why Moran and Tiarht are both running for the same seat. If these two are supposed to be members of the C Street Family and they believe that God has placed their members into their positions of power – then why are two of the same family members running for the same seat? One will have to lose – so does this mean that God wants one of them to lose that position of power?

      And if that is the case – then isn’t their goal of having only Christian white males in power in trouble if they know now that one of them will lose?

      See, I could not be a member of the C Street Family for one reason – I think too much! I don’t just follow something that some crackpot says and think that I am doing what God wants.

  25. PrairiePond

    “why are two of the same family members running for the same seat?”

    Power and greed uber alles. The family “gets the hind tit” as we say out here, when money and power are at stake.

    “One will have to lose – so does this mean that God wants one of them to lose that position of power?”

    Of course it will be god’s will. Everything is… except when it isnt.

    They’ll rationalize it somehow. Hell, the religious reich blamed gays for Katrina and 9/11. Rationalizing toddly’s loss wont be much of a stretch compared to that!

    • lilacluvr

      Yeah, I know. Everything the religioius reich gets caught doing – they will rationalize it away but if one of us liberals get caught – then all Hell breaks loose.

      It’s that twisted logic of theirs that I just don’t get.

      Like I was just thinking the other day, Republicans wasted how many millions on impeaching Clinton for a blow job but yet Reagan gave weapons to Iran.

      So, arming an enemy is okay but a blow job with an intern is a big no-no?

      These Religious Repubs are something else – aren’t they?