“The lesson of Pearl Harbor ought never to be forgotten,
and of course the motto that came from that, 69 years ago,
the war which my dad fought, was ‘Remember Pearl Harbor,
never again.’ We need to keep that to mind.”
Today marks the 74th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The tragic day the USS Arizona was bombed and split in two killing 1,177 of its 1,400-member crew.
Most people may not realize that before Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona had a 25-year history of accomplishments. The battleship spent most of its career in Pacific Ocean waters, including many years at San Pedro, California harbor. This 608-foot-long, 34,000 plus ton battleship was also used in the 1934 movie, Here Comes the Navy staring James Cagney. The movie provided first rate images of the interior and exterior of this now famous battleship.
In July of this year two of the twelve oldest known Pearl Harbor survivors, veterans Ray Chavez, 103, and Jim Downing, 102, met for the first time. The two men shared the same eyewitness moments and deep memories of the horrific, surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Still, for Downing, “most of what happened is just as clear as if it were last week.”
Four days after the bombing, everything was still burning said Chavez. He said they never told the public how bad it was. It was really bad.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is not a federal holiday, but maybe it should be. Just like Oliver North said, the lesson of Pearl Harbor ought never be forgotten. We must always remember Pearl Harbor.