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The Rising Sun at Treetop Height

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Posted By: Pluperfect, 12/7/2019 4:40:50 AM

On December 7, 1941, my grandmother’s father, like so many other Navy men stationed at Pearl Harbor, assumed all the gunfire down at the base was a drill. It was a Sunday, and he was sleeping in on a day off from his duties as an officer aboard the USS Nevada. His daughter told him around 7:30 a.m. that the family had not received their newspaper. She asked if she could borrow the one next door to read the funny pages. Worried that she might actually steal a neighbor’s newspaper, he rolled out of bed to keep an eye on her. He went to the kitchen and started making coffee.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: Lazyman 12/7/2019 6:51:51 AM (No. 255278)
Man I'm old. I heard many first hand accounts growing up from my Dad's generation.
7 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Dodge Boy 12/7/2019 7:28:36 AM (No. 255312)
My father-in-law was in the Navy and was there. The Japs just missed his ship. He always told that story like it happened yesterday, in vivid detail. Boy, am I thankful to have his daughter as my wife of 44 years.
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Reply 3 - Posted by: jeffkinnh 12/7/2019 9:57:00 AM (No. 255464)
This was the first step of the US recognizing that Japan was a nasty, sneaky, determined enemy. We had other lessons during the war. Consider that this attack laid the foundation for the nuclear bombing of two of their cities. We KNEW what kind of enemy they were and we KNEW they had to be stopped in a manner that would prevent them from starting up again.
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Reply 4 - Posted by: DVC 12/7/2019 10:45:07 AM (No. 255524)
Many Americans have memories of those days, but most of the participants are gone, only the youngest still survive. When we lived in Hawaii, when I was just 4 and 5 years old, our neighbor's palm trees in their front yard had bullet holes in them from the Japanese planes strafing the neighborhood. This was about 9-10 years after the end of WW2. About 25 years ago, our flying club had a woman speak to us about her experiences during the Pearl Harbor air raid. She and her sister were laying on the floor of their kitchen as glass exploded from their windows, as the strafing planes roared overhead. Later she found some spent bullets on the floor which she had with her in a small box lined with cotton. She asked if anyone knew anything about guns and could tell her what kind of bullets they were, she had no information after all those years. I identified them as 7.7mm Japanese machine gun bullets, which were used in the cowl guns of the Japanese Zero fighter planes. She was pleased to finally have a bit more information about her 50 year old (at that time) personal souvenirs of a historic day. If things had gone slightly differently, those bullets which traversed her kitchen during breakfast could have taken her life.
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Reply 5 - Posted by: Strike3 12/7/2019 10:49:45 AM (No. 255535)
The people who never forget never seem to make it into government or academia. According to them America had it coming to them and we should spend our lives apologizing for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Japan's case, they were a good people under the iron fist of their emperor and their military. In many cases they chose suicide over failure or surrender. I had an uncle on Saipan who watched them jump off the cliff by the hundreds. In the muslims' world, the people are all of one mind and our destruction is a permanent goal. Like Pearl Harbor, 9/11/01 was a surprise and should not have been.
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Reply 6 - Posted by: DVC 12/7/2019 11:53:12 AM (No. 255644)
#5, my USN father told me about arriving on Saipan a few weeks after the cliff jumping, and there were still bodies to be seen below the cliff. That story was shocking when I first heard it 55 years ago, and remains sad to this day. It was clear that all the Americans at that time were shocked by that action.
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Reply 7 - Posted by: Rumblehog 12/7/2019 11:57:23 AM (No. 255649)
FTA: "...There before me lay the backbone of the greatest navy in the world — broken, twisted wrecks in a blazing sea of oil.” The world came to know what the people of the United States of America were made from when we left the entire Japanese Navy, Army, and Air Force in twisted hulks, along with that of Germany and Italy, securing freedom from oppression for half the world. Where we've gone from that zenith can be discussed another time, but today we honor those American patriots who answered the call, and glorified the substance of their American character. RIP, greatest generation!
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