Thursday, December 4, 2008

VIEW FROM TOP>>Remembering Pearl Harbor

By Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz, Jr.
19th Airlift Wing commander

What do you think of when you hear the words “Pearl Harbor?” Some might say they think of fighting a battle in a video game.

Others might think of the Hawaiian landscape with the sandy beaches, clear blue skies and emerald coastline. Some may even think of the Hollywood adaptation of the real life events released several years ago. However, we all should simply hear the words and understand the significance of Pearl Harbor’s place in history.

Dec. 7, 1941, was one of the most defining days in history because it brought America into World War II, an entrance that turned the tide and resulted in the ultimate defeat of the Nazi regime and Japanese empire. This Sunday, our nation holds its annual day of remembrance for this monumental event. America paid a high price--2,335 dead servicemen, 1,178 wounded, 640 unaccounted for and 48 civilians killed; 188 aircraft destroyed, 18 ships of different sizes sunk or damaged, and 8 damaged or destroyed battleships. The legacy of Pearl Harbor survives because of the tales World War II veterans have passed down to subsequent generations. Their stories are amazing, humbling, inspiring and educational. The way in which they responded to this tragedy has served as a great example for our generation as we continue to respond to the tragic events of Sept. 11 and the ongoing global war on terrorism. They endured individual and national loss, grieved, and then cemented their resolve to defeat the enemy. Then, in victory they created the national prosperity we were raised in and enjoy today.

We remember Pearl Harbor because of the loss endured and the sacrifices made. But more importantly we remember Pearl Harbor because it reminds us of how a great nation responded to a great tragedy, overcame great challenges, and prospered.

Our generation is under similar circumstances and by remembering Pearl Harbor, we strengthen our own resolve and communicate to our foes their impending defeat.

We have some other key events coming up I’d like to mention. This evening at 5 p.m. at the Base Chapel we will have our holiday tree lighting ceremony. Next Wednesday at 7 p.m. we have a Town Hall meeting scheduled to provide an update on our base family housing project. We have some good news and I encourage everyone to attend. Finally, next Thursday at 11 a.m. we will hold a ceremony to break ground on a new Base Exchange which will really improve our quality of life at Little Rock.

Thanks for your service to our great nation!

Combat Airlift!


Blogger TetVet said...

America's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, living his 100th year is former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Ordnanceman (ACOM), later wartime commissioned Lieutenant John W. Finn, USN (Ret.). He is also the last surviving Medal of Honor, "The Day of Infamy", Japanese Attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.

Visit my photo album tribute:

San Diego, California

December 5, 2008 9:43 AM  

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