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Families, survivors pay tribute to Pearl Harbor
Marine Corps News ^ | Dec 7, 2005 | Lance Cpl. R. Drew Hendricks

Posted on 12/09/2005 2:29:25 PM PST by SandRat

U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES, PACIFIC, CAMP H. M. SMITH, Hawaii (Dec. 7, 2005) -- Shots fired by Marines from the 3rd Marine Regiment firing detail echoed through the waters of Pearl Harbor in remembrance of a day that echoes throughout history at the 64th Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration Dec. 7.

Along with the firing detail, wreath laying ceremonies and an F-15 missing man formation flew over the heads of the attendees. Each was a fitting mark of respect for the 2,390 Americans who lost their lives during the assault on Pearl Harbor.

“I remember seeing them come up over the mountain range and I watched as they got closer and closer. It wasn’t till I saw the markings that I knew we were being attacked,” said Warren Verhoff, who served on the USS Keosanqua. “I can still hear those explosions.”

Those who survived one of the darkest days of our country's history were also honored.

A surviving crewmember of each battleship placed a wreath in honor of their fellow shipmates.

While Adm. Michael G. Mullen, Chief of Naval Operations, spoke, the outline of the Arizona Memorial could be seen in the distance echoing the events long since past.

“Spirits linger where great things have happened,” said Mullen.

Indeed many heroic things happened in the waters of Pearl Harbor, many of them have been told and many more will never be known.

“Something great abides in these waters,” said Mullen. “Great deeds were witnessed here and we can’t help but return to pay our respects.”

Francis Tannheimer, who was serving as a mechanic on the USS California that infamous day, does not need to return to remember what took place here. Yet he has returned three times on this date to honor his fallen comrades.

Tannheimer was in the boiler room of the USS California when the attack commenced.

“When the torpedo hit it shook the ship like a box of matches,” said Tannheimer. “Me and the other guys stood our post till we were given the order to abandon ship. By that time the ship had settled into the mud and we were up to our necks in water. It took a long time to get out.”

When Tannheimer made it to the deck of the ship he was faced with another challenge.

“I had to jump over the side and swim for it, but I was a horrible swimmer,” said Tannheimer. “I barely managed to doggie paddle to shore.”

While Tannheimer could remember that day in detail he would not speak much more about it, as though the faces of his friends who perished were still fresh in his mind.

As taps played, the faces of the survivors became overwhelmed with remembrance as if the attack had happened yesterday. Still, they stood proud and were willing to share the stories of those who could not tell them themselves.

While the men of that era continue to inspire the people of this nation, they are leaving our ranks rapidly.

Over 1,000 WWII veterans pass away daily. The “Greatest Generation” will soon be gone with only historical records and memories to fill the void.

“Today our own generation of servicemembers have embarked on a great odyssey,” said Mullen. “There to will come a day when their story will be told by their children and they will remember them just as we remember those who gave their best in these waters. This is why we can never forget.”

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; US: Hawaii; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: attack; families; harbor; hawaii; japan; pay; pearl; pearlharbor; survivors; tribute; wwii

A Sailor plays Taps, at the 64th annual Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration, Dec. 7, in recognition of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Photo by: Lance Cpl. R. Drew Hendricks

More photos at source

1 posted on 12/09/2005 2:29:27 PM PST by SandRat
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..

Remembering and Honoring those still serving on eternal patrol at Pearl Harbor.

2 posted on 12/09/2005 2:30:20 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat


3 posted on 12/09/2005 2:45:23 PM PST by E.G.C.
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To: SandRat
The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941 has been described as a brilliant military coup by the Japanese military. It was nothing of the sort. In fact, it was the first of a series of stupid military blunders of the first magnitude that came one after the other.

First, it's not hard to attack from ambush a peaceful nation who is not at war. The Japanese Navy blundered by attacking Pearl Harbor. Their reasoning was that the U.S. Pacific Fleet could be destroyed leaving Japan free to move south into the Dutch East Indies and take its valuable oil resources that Japan so desperately needed.

While a number of ships were sunk or damaged in the Pearl Harbor raid, only four capital ships could not be raised and repaired. As it turned out, the ships lost were battleships that were to be proved obsolete during the war.

The Japanese themselves who helped make the aircraft carrier the preeminent capital ship, then proceeded to waste resources building three of the largest battleships ever constructed, the Yamota, the Musashi and a third converted to an aircraft carrier that was sunk before it could be completed.

The Yamoto was immediately removed from any possible use to the navy by being made the headquarters of the Japanese Admiral Isoruko Yamamoto. This mighty ship, with its 18 inch guns, spent the entire war as a floating office. As the war drew to a close the Yamoto was sent on a one-way suicide mission where it accomplished nothing and was sunk.

The Japanese compounded their mistake in going to war with the U.S. in the first place by failing to follow up with a second attack on Pearl leaving that vast naval installation intact and virtually undamaged. The lost or damaged ships were quickly repaired or replaced.

By the middle of 1942, after Midway, it was all over for the Imperial Navy but the Banzi shouting. At Midway, a typical Japanese mishmash of razor-thin timing and complex planning too difficult to pull off without extraordinary luck, the Japanese navy was all but wiped out.

The Japanese military was incredibly inept and failed to win a single decisive victory on land or at sea after the early years in China.
4 posted on 12/09/2005 5:08:52 PM PST by R.W.Ratikal
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