Friday, December 7, 2018

Pearl Harbor: Someday All Of Them Will Be Gone

After 77 years, the story of the mighty battleship has been told again and again: how it took heavy fire, how a bomb blew it apart, how it sank into the harbor.

To this day, the ship still weeps for her dead.

The USS Arizona had 1.4 million gallons of fuel on board when she went down. About a quart and a half a day bubbles up from below. Pearl Harbor survivors call the seepage “black tears.” It’s eerie to see and, in a strange way, a seemingly tangible connection to those who lie below.

About 300 USS Arizona sailors survived Japan’s surprise attack.

In the past, survivors have rung the bell as part of Pearl Harbor Day ceremonies, but this year, none of the five remaining survivors will make the trip to Pearl Harbor due to health issues. 

Two years ago, to mark the 75th anniversary, four of the survivors made the trip to Pearl Harbor as the remains of two of their fallen crewmates were interred in the sunken ship's wreckage.

A little over a decade ago, there were around 6 million living World War II veterans; soon they will all be gone.

On December 7th, 1941 they were 18 and 19-year-olds, fully committed to sacrificing their lives for family and country. We may never see their kind of patriotism again.

The country just laid to rest the last veteran of World War II to serve as president and a fellow World War II veteran, 95-year-old Sen. Bob Dole, had to be helped from his wheelchair to stand and salute the flag-draped coffin of President George H.W. Bush.

As the Greatest Generation leaves us, they take with them a sense of commitment, duty and grace that might be impossible to replace.

UPDATE:  Welcome readers of Bad Blue Uncensored News.  Thank you Doug Ross for linking to this post and, if you are a veteran, thank you for your service.

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