Remember Pearl Harbor - "Date that will live in infamy” observed Friday

by By Cristin Parker

The day Japan ‘woke the sleeping giant’ still lives on in infamy.

Friday, Dec. 7 marks the 77th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day, commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii, in 1941.

“On Dec. 7, 1941, the residents of Honolulu, Hawaii, awoke to the sound of gun fire,” the website shares. “At 8 a.m. that morning, Japanese planes flew over Pearl Harbor -- the U.S. Naval base located just outside Honolulu -- and dropped bombs on the harbor and the surrounding airfields. More than 1,500 crewmen died and two ships sank to the bottom of the harbor.

“The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Congress voted and declared war on Japan, thus entering World War II. President Franklin D. Roosevelt described the day of the attack as a ‘date that will live in infamy.’”

“While we don’t have any World War II vets as active members in our VFW here, we still salute and honor them for their service,” Rusk VFW Post # 3406 Commander Emmerson Griffin said.

There were an estimated 60,000 Pearl Harbor survivors but according the Washington Post, an exact tally of those still living isn’t known. Officials from the USS Arizona memorial have estimated there are approximately 2,000–2,500 still alive. Until his death in November, Ray Chavez was the oldest living Pearl Harbor Association member. He was 106.

“The attack on Pearl Harbor was an immense tragedy, the likes of which America had never seen before,” the national Veterans of Foreign Wars’ website, states. “Leaving 3,500 dead or wounded and our naval forces nearly crippled, the events of Dec. 7, 1941, altered the course of history.

“The attack awoke a sleeping giant and has become synonymous with our nation’s determination and unbreakable spirit. It continues to stand as a testament to future generations, that while our homeland may be attacked and our buildings destroyed, our enemies will never defeat our republic or our way of life.

“On this National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, the VFW asks every American to take a moment to remember and be inspired by the contributions, devotion and character of all who have served and sacrificed for our nation’s freedom.”

According to the website, Cherokee County was home to World War II veterans, Ernest B. Anderson, John H. Bailey, J.A. Banks, L.B. Blakey, James W. Blanton, Leroy Blanton, George W. Blessing, Jasper T. Boone, James F. Bostick, James F. Bounds, Elford R. Bowman, Dan R. Brewer, R.D. Brown, Dewey W. Burns, William M. Carr, Herman Clark, Curtis F. Clifford, Frank P. Crosby, Vollie B. Dickey, Melvin D. Dixon, Leonard L. Farrow, Joseph L. Gates, George C. Goodwin, W.D. Grimes, Charles G. Gunter, Raymond O. Hail, Steward F. Harrison, Leycester D. Havens, Woodrow W. Hill, William H. Holcomb, Morris D. Jay, F.R. Kirkpatrick, James R. Kirkpatrick, Odell B. Lee, Thomas E. Lindstrom, Dewey H. Lloyd, Lavis L. Lusk, Robert V. Mainer, Otis Martin, Doyle W. McDaniel, Carl H. Miles, Dwight L. Monroe, Morris S. Parnell, Harold D. Partridge, Henry N. Payne, Robert R. Phillips, Jess W. Post, Oscar L. Randolph, J.C. IO Reed, Jack S Rives, Clarence S. Ross, John C. Rounsaville, Jack D. Sanders, Sylan C. Saxton, Edward P. Sewall, George N. Shamess, Alvin J. Sides, Leander C. Sledman Jr., Rufus E. Stiefer, Aldrich L. Still, Norman L. Strahan, Luther J. Sweat, Lonnie C. Tucker Jr., Raymond L. Tucker, George W. Waggoner, Charles A. Walker, Jack T. Walker, Pinkston C. Waller, Glenn P. Whitaker, James H. White, Claris D. Williams and James L. Wynn.

On the direction of the President, the flag of the United States of America should be displayed on the homes of Americans, the White House and all United States government buildings. The flag should be flown at half-mast to honor those who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is not a federal holiday. Government offices, schools, businesses and other organizations do not close. Public transit systems run on their regular schedules. Some organizations may hold special events in memory of those killed or injured in Pearl Harbor.