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December 7
Old 12-06-2018, 03:06 PM   #1
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December 7

Actually, for me, it was December 8, 1941. We were sitting at the kitchen table. Dad, mom and me, at age 5. We had the radio on, waiting for a message from the president of our country.

About one minute in, my dad said Damn!... the only time I ever heard him swear. Mom cried, and I knew something big was happening. The beginning of four years of war.

For me and my friends, the beginning of a very different world. The draft, with a lot of older guys going into the service. Rationing... things like butter and meat, essentially didn't exist except for rare occasions. Even leather for shoes was in short supply. We had to "make do" on lots of things that were needed for the war effort. And Gold stars in many windows of houses in our town.

Blackouts, air raid wardens, (jeanie's dad had the raincoat and helmet and binoculars and he reported to the roof of the grammar school on her street to spot enemy planes).

We saved up coupons for gas, so we could go to grandma's house once every two weeks. Uncle Jerry went into the Army Air force and was killed when his plane crashed in Poland in 1943. Uncle Tommy had an exemption because he was attending college. My dad was exempt as he was working in a war related industry, along with my mom.

As kids, we played WAR... in and out of school. Toy guns, and riding on the playground swings like they were airplanes. We learned to duck under our desks at school, and to go to the boiler room in the basement for fire drills.

We knew who to hate, and we had special names for the enemy. Posters of Hirohito on every other lamp post. No political correctness back in those days.

Kate Smith came to our town and sang America to kick off a scrap metal drive. Right at the end of our street.
.................................................. ...........................

Jump ahead to 1989. When we moved to Florida (our 55+ park) our next door neighbor was a man who had been a firefighter at Hickham field during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Incredible stories of things that happened in a matter of hours, but would linger in memory forever.

I think you might care to take four minutes to hear what Franklin Delano Roosevelt had to say on the fateful day. Unforgettable.

"A Date Which Will Live in Infamy": FDR Asks for a Declaration of War
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:25 PM   #2
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So in that famous speech he never asked for a declaration of war? I thought that was the purpose of the speech to Congress - to ask them to declare war.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:31 PM   #3
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The beginning of four years of war.

Makes me nostalgic for when our wars only lasted four years.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:37 PM   #4
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Makes me nostalgic for when our wars only lasted four years.
Seriously? That was an absolutely massive effort with a draft (16 million Americans served) and most of the country participating and directly affected.

Quote:
The US population in 1945 was 140 million, so roughly 11% of all Americans fought in World War II. Compare this to Iraq, where only about 1% of all Americans served (not including private contractors).
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:40 PM   #5
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U.S. Casualties... and more detail on the speech itself. https://www.archives.gov/publication...my-speech.html
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File Type: jpg Casualties.jpg (56.4 KB, 38 views)
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:47 PM   #6
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Seriously? That was an absolutely massive effort with a draft (16 million Americans served) and most of the country participating and directly affected.

Yes, quite seriously. I think the handling of World War II by both our military and political leaders was exemplary. Is admiration for their leadership somehow inappropriate on the anniversary of our entry into the war?
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:00 PM   #7
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About one minute in, my dad said Damn!... the only time I ever heard him swear.
I can honestly say that I do not trust anyone who doesnt swear.

I would encourage everyone to take a trip to oahu and check out pearl harbor. Its pretty emotional. And lets be honest, we forced Japan to bomb us after we cut off oil to their country. Hell, its even in the video they make you watch when you visit the memorial at pearl harbor.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:02 PM   #8
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U.S. Casualties... and more detail on the speech itself. https://www.archives.gov/publication...my-speech.html
You think those numbers are high...Cigarette smoking is responsible for 480,000+ deaths every single year in the united states alone. A genocide that we have absolutely no issues with.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:04 PM   #9
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Starting to feel like I shouldn't have posted this.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:04 PM   #10
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So in that famous speech he never asked for a declaration of war? I thought that was the purpose of the speech to Congress - to ask them to declare war.

Mr. Vice President, and Mr. Speaker, and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives:
YESTERDAY, December 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamy the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that Nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American Island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

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125. The President Requests War Declaration

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong: Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our Nation.

As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense.

But always will our whole Nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces with the unbounding determination of our people we will gain the inevitable triumph so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire


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Old 12-06-2018, 04:06 PM   #11
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Starting to feel like I shouldn't have posted this.
The ignore button is your friend.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:07 PM   #12
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And lets be honest, we forced Japan to bomb us after we cut off oil to their country.
The geopolitical environment leading to Pearl Harbor was complex, but that's a ridiculous oversimplification.
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December 7
Old 12-06-2018, 04:11 PM   #13
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The ignore button is your friend.

A very good friend it is, and stays until/unless you un-ignore. But golly, there was a reason to use it in the first place.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:16 PM   #14
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Makes me nostalgic for when our wars only lasted four years.
Makes me nostalgic for when we actually declared war. Instead of the situations we’ve got ourselves into since. Because war is so terrible, it should be the last resort and we should all be on board, hence the requirement the congress declares it.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:27 PM   #15
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I regret not asking my Dad for more details about his WWII experience. By the time I did, he was beginning to lose some memory. What I have gleaned from him, and what my older brother told me about our 4 uncles' experiences, leaves me in awe.

My Dad spent time in Arizona (for the Navy!) and then Pearl Harbor after the bombing. One of my uncles had some sort of arm defect that initially kept him out of the service. But he demanded to do something, and he was assigned some clerical type job. I don't know what he did exactly, but I know he was fiercely proud of his contribution.

Truly "the greatest generation."
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:32 PM   #16
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My DF’s birthday, but I wasn’t yet even a gleam in Daddy’s eye. Still WWII and Korea were pretty fresh in everyone’s memory. My dad was too young for WWII, but an uncle, several great-uncles, and fathers of many classmates/playmates served. One great-uncle was killed just a week before Germany surrendered...

As an “adult”, I find less glory in war than my kid version...
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:52 PM   #17
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As an “adult”, I find less glory in war than my kid version...
As a vet of Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq X 2 I concur. All war sucks.

As a side note I graduated Marine boot on 7 December 1990. 49th anniversary of the Japenses attack.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:55 PM   #18
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No, thank you for posting!

My parents were married in 1939 and they always shared some experiences. However it took time to really appreciate what they taught me. The war really impacted much of their behavior. Definitely Dec 7.

There was a visit when we lived in KC. DM, DF, DW and I went to the Truman museum. Wow, my parents were taken back. Stories I had never heard of their lives. Later my Uncle would relate his WWII service and it was fascinating.

My DF worked in a war related industry and wasn't allowed to enlist. Probably led to him getting a better job after the war. My DM was always interested in history and she absolutely sparkled, remembering her life in that time. Later dementia would control her life, this visit she was so clear.

We spent the day at Truman. I learned more about my parents lives then in any visit we had. Thanks for posting!
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:58 PM   #19
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Starting to feel like I shouldn't have posted this.
Everyone has an agenda it seems........
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Old 12-06-2018, 05:06 PM   #20
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Brothers will be taking dad to the local American Legion for the ceremonies tomorrow. He will be one of two survivors attending. His duty after the attack was to prepare the bodies for burial or shipped back to the mainland. At age 97 he is one of a few that remembers the day. Please fly your flag tomorrow.
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