"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." - Franklin D. Roosevelt's Speech, December 8th, 1941.
My father, who died in 2004, was at Scofield Barracks, on that Sunday Morning. He was a 19 year old Supply Sergeant in the 25th Infantry Division:
A little history of his unit and their exploits during and after Pearl Harbor:
"On 7 December 1941 the 24th and 25th Divisions had the distinction of being the first U.S. Army divisions to see combat in WWII when they returned the fire of Japanese aircraft strafing Schofield Barracks. After the attack the 25th Division quickly moved to defensive positions to protect Honolulu and Pearl Harbor against a possible Japanese invasion.
In November 1942 the Division underwent intensive jungle and amphibious warfare training and sailed for Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands to relieve the 1st Marine Division. The 25th operating as part of the XIV Corps commenced offensive operations against the Japanese on 7 January 1943. In less than a month and against a determined enemy who offered fierce resistance the 25th Division wiped out the Japanese dug in on Mount Austin and conducted an envelopment through the jungle to cut off retreating Japanese forces. The speed in which the Division accomplished these missions earned it the nickname "Tropic Lightning". For its valor on Mount Austin the 35th Infantry Regiment was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.
Dad would go on to serve through the Korean conflict, but the point is that because they served, the Japanese were defeated in 1945 along with the Germans before them. All because a nation stood up to tyranny, not because they backed down and allowed it to flourish. My father would say that one thing he never heard - except from the enemy - was "Surrender".
"Damn that! We never surrender, we're Americans!, We don't quit".
Thanks Dad for your sacrifice. Thank you for my life. On this day and every day I salute you my comrade, as I salute all the brave men and women who served then, and serve now. Thank you - "Keep up the Fight - Never Surrender - NEVER!"
I miss you!