Let’s remember Pearl Harbor and never again be unprepared for war
by Don McKee
December 07, 2012 12:34 AM | 2499 views | 5 5 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Don McKee
Don McKee
Seventy-one years ago today Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbor, triggering an unprepared America’s entry into World War II. Three of my brothers served in that war and they all made it back home.

Across our country today and here in Marietta, veterans, their families and friends and patriotic Americans remember Pearl Harbor.

In Honolulu there will be throngs of visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial, the most popular of all attractions in Hawaii. The bridge-like memorial spans the sunken battleship Arizona, final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen killed in the attack — the greatest loss of life on an American warship in history. The total deaths at Pearl Harbor numbered 2,418, including 68 civilians.

That forms the backdrop for a ceremony in Honolulu today as the Navy and National Park Service honor Ray Emory, 91-year-old survivor of the bombing, for his painstaking work over more than 20 years trying to identify unknown military dead at Pearl Harbor. Because of his stubborn efforts, more than 300 gravestones have been relabeled with the ship names of the deceased. Still, as many as one-fourth of the dead remain unidentified on the markers.

It might seem of little importance today, so remote from Dec. 7, 1941, “a date which will live in infamy,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it. But not so. When people ask Emory why he has worked at his mission so long, his reply is: talk to those who lost relatives in the attack. To them, it means something like closure. They won’t forget what happened at Pearl Harbor.

Now once again our country is facing a decision on national defense that could have a major impact on our preparedness. The so-called fiscal cliff inexorably draws near while President Obama holds out for higher taxes against Republican opposition. If the country slides off the cliff, the Defense Department will get hit with an additional $500 billion in cuts over the next 10 years — on top of $487 billion cuts already approved.

Even if Republicans and Democrats work out a deal to avoid the cliff, additional cutbacks of several hundred billion in defense budgets could be in store over the coming decade. Procurement — spending on equipment and the like — would be hit the hardest, and the civilian workforce now at about 700,000 could be reduced by as much as 200,000.

Either scenario will undermine our country’s preparedness for the next Pearl Harbor or the next major terrorist attack on the order of Sept. 11, 2001, another date that lives in infamy, when Islamist jihadists wreaked death and destruction on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon while a courageous group of passengers fought their hijackers on United Airlines Flight 93 and the plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks.

The lessons from these attacks on our homeland must not be forgotten. Mistakes of the past must not be repeated. But they will be if drastic cuts are made in our national defense.

Let’s remember Pearl Harbor.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Kevin Foley
December 07, 2012
We weren't warned about Pearl Harbor. We were warned about 9-11.

Anyway, there's alot of fever swamp misinformation out there, most of it aimed at portraying Obama as "unAmerican" and probably a terrorist sympathizer.

From the Nov. 8 Buisnessweek:

Slowing the rate of growth of military spending is not the same as cutting it. The Obama plan, which Republicans in Congress agreed to, provides for future year spending increases of 1.7 percent in 2014 and 2.2 percent in 2015. Travis Sharp of the Center for a New American Security has crunched the bigger numbers: For the period from 2013 to 2022, Obama would allocate a total of $5.75 trillion to defense.
Kevin Fooley
December 07, 2012
As usual Foley, you have completely misrepresented the facts, and what information you attempt to present is skewed by your radical liberal progressive bias.
Devlin Adams
December 07, 2012
Foley, it is an absolute untruth that we were warned about 9-11. Why you people persist in trying to foist this lie off onto the American people is a mystery. I call it a lie, in this case, because many of thr peopl;e repeating it know that it is not true.

Sure, there are a lot of, att time, unrelatable things which, after the fact, can be pieced

together and will point to "something" is going to happen, "sometime". But to use that to say we were warned is sheer lunacy.

We had far better and clearer intelligence in Benghazim which we blithely ignored, yet the President refers to it as "bump in the road."
Foney Baloney
December 08, 2012
@Kevin Foley

Thank you Admiral General Foley for your military expert comments. What year did you graduate West Point?
Common sense
December 07, 2012
How anyone, regardless of political party, can forget how unprepared we were in WWII, is beyond my comprehension. We learned a lesson and up to now, have remained strong militarily. Obama and his followers seem to think it is just going to be peachy to go weak, cause that will make everyone, even those mean on terrorists, like us. What a bunch of morons.
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