Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Day, by David Bower

The Japanese Bomb Pearl Harbor

On this date in 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The attack started somewhere between 7:48 and 7:58 AM local time on a Sunday morning. The public announcement of the attack was delayed by almost two hours so the announcement aired in the USA around 2:30 PM Eastern time and 9:30 AM Hawaiian time.

My mother, stepfather, and I were out on a Sunday drive looking for an alternate camping site for my stepfather’s Boy Scout troop. The time was around 1:31 PM when the announcer broke into the radio broadcast we were listening to and said the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.

I was sitting in the back seat and still remember hearing the announcement; I don’t recall what was said at that point, but I’m certain none of us had any idea of the far reaching implications of that action.

A number of the boys that had been scouts in my stepfather’s troop would be killed in WW II and the Korean War; a name that stands out to me is John Ditner, a remarkably fine young man who had been my Patrol Leader when I was in the troop.

I am always fascinated by the impact of seemingly remote activities; Pearl Harbor was so far away so how could that affect our lives? But affect our lives it did and in a most profound way. The next several years would see a change in America that would deeply touch everyone.

Today, seventy years later, we still remember the day that “lives in infamy.” To that date we have added September 11, 2001; another date that will live in infamy. At Pearl Harbor 2,402 Americans were killed, on 911 there were 2,975 killed not counting the Muslim terrorists.

I hope and pray there will be no more days of infamy during my lifetime but I suspect that is unlikely.


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