Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pearl Harbor Day - the Day of Infamy

USS Arizona (BB-39)
On December 7th, 1941, at 7:55 AM Hawaiian time, the Japanese military executed a sneak attack on the US military in Pearl Harbor.

Over 2,400 people lost there lives that day - nearly 66% of them died within the first 15 minutes of the attack which was mostly due to the explosion on the USS Arizona. Of the dead, 2,008 wereUS Navy personnel, 109 were US Marines, 218 were US Army, and 68 were civilians. That a total of 2,403 dead Americans. The number of wounded American personnel was 1,178.*

The basis for the attack is mulitple. There was never, and hardly ever is, "one" ultimate purpose. Just like in any military action, there were the "in your face" reasons that anyone can examine. Then there are always the "X" reasons. This is information that is privy to the US government and whoever with which they will share the knowledge. Yes, that does happen in all forms of government and anyone who whines about "full disclosure" can go sit in a corner now and hold their breath 'cause that will never happen. So there we are, many different causes combining to one attack.

I'll limit the cause part by discussing two of the larger reasons - those were dominance and humiliation.

The Japanese Empire wanted to dominate Asia and the US was very much in the way of completeing this goal. To remove the US from the picture, the attack was seen as a necessity. Also, Japan was banking on the US and its multi-cultural background to turn against itself. Japan, like with many Asian countries, takes great pride in its culture. They look at victories as a source of great pride and defeats as a source of shame. Japan saw the US as a weak mongrel. The Empire figured a sneak attack would not only break the spirit of the US, but it would also shame the US into being more obidient with the Empire's demands for cooperation.

But all it did was piss off a country that should never be pissed off. All the attack did was make the US so angry, everyone, military and civilian, felt it our duty to fight until victory was ours.

Where the Japanese value culture, we value our country.

So on this Pearl Harbor Day, have a moment of silence at 12:55PM (the Eastern Standard Time of the attack). Take a second to remember those who sacrificed their lives in many yesterdays so we may live in freedom. And honor those who are still fighting today in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Give these Marines, soldiers, airmen, and seamen your prayers and support as they continue the fight for freedom that so many others have done before them.

* cited from FAQFarm

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