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A lot of the sailors were still in their bunks, sleeping off their Saturday night in downtown Honolulu.
Others were getting ready for church services. Still more were finishing the Sunday breakfast that was always good food on the battleships.
Navy life was worthwhile. You got to sail all over the world while landlubbers in foreign, exotic ports admired your great battleships, your sparkling clean uniform and your athletic fitness. And you were convinced you were part of the greatest naval fleet ever to sail the oceans of the world. No other navy could compete with yours. Life was good.
The first wave of Japanese bombers and fighters struck shortly after 8 a.m. They, and the following flights, would do massive damage to the U.S. Pacific Fleet. They would kill more than 2,400 servicemen and civilians.
The President of the United States would ask Congress for a declaration of war the next day. Patriotic civilians lined up at recruiting offices for all military branches, each man hoping he would pass the physical exam. As I understand it, there has never been, before nor after, a surge of volunteering as huge as this. Americans were showing their patriotism. And that, kiddies, is why Americans won the Second World War.
I held this post back until now, because I wanted to see how our once great nation would recognize today. A few sentences on a news net work (apologizing for Japan's sneak attack) then no more. Channels such as TCM, History, CSPAN2, A&E, AMC all seemed to ignore today. And it happened to fall on a Sunday. The only movies or factoid shows on any of these stations concerned Nazi Germany and did not even mention Japan's vicious part in that war.
It took a while for me to understand why. For some reason (and I despise why I am thinking this) Our President Elect chose today, Sunday, December 7, to reveal his appointment of a Japanese American (born in Hawaii) as Veterans Affairs Secretary.
So? Well, retired general Eric K. Shinseki is the Japanese American.
So? This is nothing but a calculated slap in the face to all the veterans, living and dead, who defended this country from the Japanese in WW II.
I am quite sure that Mr. Shinseki is a total American and proud of it. This is not about him. It is, rather, a tirade against Mr. Obama whose lack of thinking betrays his shallowness and ability to fly in the face of respect and tradition.
He does not even recognize the men and women we can for our being able to speak and read and write English as our native tongue. (No thanks to the Mexican government, though. They refused to join the Allied Forces and sat back and got rich from war goods trading.)
Mr. Barack Obama, what were you thinking? Shame on you.
Lordy, what a start to a new order.