Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 7, 2016

Pearl Harbor Day

The Japanese Bomb Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor Bombed 1941

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 afternoon 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 how we reacted 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 and was killed in the Korean War.

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 five 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 2,977 killed not counting the Muslim terrorists.

I hope and pray there will be no more days of infamy but that is unlikely; I suspect we can all agree the oft quoted warning, “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom” is as fully applicable today as it ever was. Revised and updated 12/7/16


  1. I wasn’t alive when Pearl Harbor was attacked; however, it has always been so important to me to remember that day and never take for granted the freedom I have and all who have died for that freedom. I do clearly remember 9/11 and I am proud of our military and hopefully under a new administration, our country will regain the strength it once had (like in 1941) to respond to the attack of the enemy. Please dear Lord let the people of this nation and its leaders acknowledge you and your sovereignty. God bless America.


    • Dear Karen,

      During WW II there was an intense focus all over the United States on winning the war. Everyone I knew was dedicated to helping win the war and all of us were contributing in some small way to the “war effort.” There was a patriotic unity that drew all people together in a common struggle for freedom with an intense devotion to our country, our flag and our soldiers. There was no thought of disrespecting the flag and any attempt to burn the flag would have been met with vigorous opposition, believe me!




  2. I have heard many related stories. Japanese who felt dishonored that the war decree was delivered after the attack. The story of high officials ignoring the threat and therefore having no active defense. Today, I am encouraged by Pearl Harbor vet Ray Cortez. At age 110, he has worked with a trainer, has gained 20 lbs of muscle and is attending the ceremonies. Now that is impressive. John



    • The movie, Tora, Tora, Tora, is an excellent depiction of much of the action surrounding December 7th 1941 and explains what caused the delay in Japan’s notification of their declaration of war. If you haven’t seen it I do recommend it.


  3. Thanks. Well stated. I’ll never forget visiting the Pearl Harbor Memorial. What a special place, to help us to never forget and maintain resolve.


    • Cy,
      Thanks for commenting! I’m sure a visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial would be very moving but at my age I doubt I’ll ever see it in person.


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